ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE (2019)

Always Be My Maybe poster

SHORT VERSION

A pair of childhood friends end up falling for each other when they grow up.

MEDIUM VERSION

Sasha and Marcus are two childhood friends who grow up next door to each other in San Francisco. As Sasha’s parents regularly leave her home alone while they tend to their restaurant, Marcus’ parents often have her over for dinner, where she greatly enjoys Marcus’ mother’s home cooking. Eventually Sasha and Marcus form a close friendship that carries on into their teenage years that is only broken when Sasha sleeps with Marcus in order to try and comfort him after his mother dies in an accident. A wedge is driven between the two when they get into an argument shortly afterwards and they eventually drift apart.

Years later Sasha has become a highly successful chef living in Los Angeles while Marcus still lives and works with his widowed father and performs in a talented but largely unsuccessful band that only plays in his local neighbourhood. Briefly moving back to San Francisco in order to oversee the opening of a new restaurant, Sasha is reunited with Marcus when he and his father are hired to install air conditioning at Sasha’s new home. Despite initial friction, they quickly reconnect and become friends again. After a disastrous double date with Marcus’ girlfriend and actor Keanu Reeves, to whom Sasha reveals that she has always had a crush on Marcus, Sasha and Marcus begin seeing each other. However, when Sasha asks Marcus to leave San Francisco behind and follow her to New York in order to open another restaurant, Marcus steadfastly refuses. Sasha leaves San Francisco alone.

Owing to insight from his father and his bandmates, Marcus comes to realize that the death of his mother has made him scared to move on in life, and he moves out of his childhood home and makes steps to make his band more successful. Discovering that Sasha has been secretly supporting his musical ambitions, Marcus surprises Sasha on the red carpet at an awards show in Manhattan, pledging that he will be there wherever she will be. Sasha opens her New York restaurant, which is named after and pays tribute to Marcus’ late mother, while Marcus writes a song about punching Keanu Reeves.

LONG VERSION

Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) are childhood next-door neighbors and best friends in San Francisco. Sasha often goes to Marcus’s house for dinners because her parents aren’t home often. Marcus’s mother teaches Sasha a lot about cooking. When they are teenagers, Marcus’s mom dies and the two become extra close, and eventually have sex in the back of Marcus’s car. Immediately afterward, Marcus tells Sasha he isn’t going to college, and when she questions it, he lashes out at her, clearly upset about his mother – and tells Sasha it was HIS mom who died and not hers. Sasha leaves, angry and hurt, and the two stop speaking.

In present day, Sasha is an incredibly successful chef in Los Angeles and engaged to restaurateur Brandon (Daniel Dae Kim). When Brandon gets an opportunity to tour with Jose Andres, he postpones the engagement and the couple takes a six-month break where they can see other people – Sasha pretends to be excited but is actually heartbroken. She rents a home back in San Francisco to stay in while she opens her next restaurant there. Her best friend and assistant Veronica (Michelle Buteau) hires Marcus and his father Harry (James Saito) to set up the air conditioning. Sasha and Marcus awkwardly reunite, having not seen each other in many years. Marcus still lives at home and works for his dad while he plays with his band in the evenings. Harry gives Sasha a show flyer and she and Veronica go to Marcus’s next show. Marcus’s quirky girlfriend Jenny (Vivian Bang) shows up and insists on cooking a strange dinner for Sasha, and afterwards, Marcus gives Sasha a ride home… in the same car, they lost their virginity in.

Brandon calls Sasha with more business ideas and she angrily breaks up with him. She and Marcus spend more time together, and she tells him she’s going to start dating. While catering a wrap party, Sasha meets someone the audience doesn’t see. After Harry tells Marcus that Jenny is the one for him, he goes to tell her… but Sasha tells her about the exciting new man she met. She asks if Marcus and Jenny want to go on a double date, where her new man turns out to be Keanu Reeves. He and Sasha area all over each other – Keanu is odd and pretentious and offends Marcus, and Sasha and he begin squabbling again. The four go back to Keanu’s place, and during an ice breaker game, Sasha reveals she had a rush on Marcus the entire time they were growing up, to Marcus’s shock. The game gets more heated, with Marcus and Keanu butting heads. Marcus dares Keanu to smash a vase on his head, which Keanu does instantly, bleeding from the head. Keanu dares Marcus to hit him, and the two get into a physical fight. Disgusted, Sasha gets Marcus and insists on leaving… but Jenny decides to stay with Keanu.

On the way back from Keanu’s, Sasha and Marcus argue again, getting more heated until they eventually kiss once again in the backseat of an Uber. They then sleep together and begin dating, going to Marcus’s shows and out to museums. Marcus goes with Sasha to multiple red carpet events and starts to grow tired of them. Sasha plans on leaving soon to go to New York to open her next restaurant and invites Marcus to go. He agrees but doesn’t seem to actually want to leave San Francisco. They fight again, him calling her pretentious and being resentful for being on her arm and holding her purse. She thinks he’s not supporting her, and she tells him she loves him but if they’re going to do this she needs him to understand what her life is. She tells him to just say it if he’s not going to go to New York with her, and he admits it. She leaves, crying.

When Marcus goes home, he finds out his father is dating someone new. Marcus is shocked because he believes his father needs him to take care of him since his mom died. But his father says he’s okay, and that it’s Marcus who never moved on. At their next band gig, Marcus gets drunk and pees onstage. The band is furious with him, and Marcus knows he messed up with Sasha. Having hit bottom, Marcus starts cleaning his life up, moving out of his dad’s and working harder to make the band get better opportunities like Sasha said he was afraid of.

When Sasha’s San Francisco restaurant opens, Marcus goes to check it out. Sasha isn’t there, but he goes to Veronica’s office and sees all his band merchandise filling their office – it was Sasha buying everything off his band’s new website. Marcus decides to go to New York, where he finds Sasha at a big award ceremony. He tells her how much he wants to be with her in front of all the press, and asks if he can hold her purse, which earlier he had complained about doing. She accepts and accompanies her as she gets her award. They go to Sasha’s new restaurant, where she’s made the same kim chi Marcus’s mother used to make, and the restaurant is named after her.

The movie ends with all the characters at the opening of Sasha’s New York restaurant.

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