Always Be My Maybe

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Always Be My Maybe Movie Poster Image
Upbeat romcom has some swearing, sex, drugs.
  • PG-13
  • 2019
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Relationships based on solid foundations can survive even time and distance. Values promoted: family, integrity, working hard toward goals, and compromise as a positive step toward reconciliation. Open communication can help solve problems and misunderstandings.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sasha is ambitious, successful, bright, and recovers her early core values of family and love. Marcus isn't traditionally successful, but he finds purpose and self acceptance. Very positive, warm portrait of Asian American families and culture, albeit with some stereotyping (notably Sasha's parents). Ethnic diversity throughout.


Two men scuffle, mostly for comic effect, including a punch to the face. A character breaks a vase over his head (a little blood seen). Arguing/shouting.


Comic lovemaking in the back of a car (kissing, groping, limbs flailing, aftermath shown). Later, characters kiss, engage in foreplay, and are seen in bed with bare shoulders after sex. References to sexual experiences, condoms, same- and opposite-sex relationships, virginity, masturbation, and multiple sex partners. A drunk man's buttocks are seen when he pees in public.


Language includes "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "hell," "Jesus," "douche," "d--k," "butthole," and one use of "f--king."


Burger King, Adidas, Tom Ford, Uber ride share, U-Haul, Food and Wine magazine.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink in multiple social settings; one instance of drunken behavior. Marcus smokes marijuana frequently, with no significant negative judgment.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Always Be My Maybe is an upbeat romantic comedy about childhood BFFs that stars former Fresh Off the Boat colleagues Randall Park and Ali Wong (they also co-wrote it, and FOTB exec producer Nahnatchka Khan directs). It also features lots of sumptuous food and a thoughtful look at contemporary Asian American families. Expect sexual situations -- with kissing, passionate embraces, post-sex scenes in bed, and a comic back-seat-of-the-car hook-up -- as well as frank, casual conversations about virginity, masturbation, condoms, multiple partners, and more. Language includes "s--t," "bitch," "d--k," one use of "f--k," and more. Characters drink in social settings, and one of the main characters smokes pot in several scenes (with little negative judgment/consequence); he also gets drunk and pees onstage. The movie may tell a familiar tale -- "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back" -- but in this case, the girl calls most of the shots in the relationship. And there are clear messages about the value of family, integrity, hard work, compromise, and communication.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11 and 15-year-old Written byAFishFam July 15, 2019

Not that funny and unnecessarily crude

I was really looking forward to this as I love the lead actor and generally like Netflix Rom Coms. I watched this with my daughters and we all agreed it was not... Continue reading
Adult Written bybaedaebok July 4, 2019

Cute Netflix upbeat romance but be careful with sex scenes

Netflix did a good job at releasing this upbeat romance that is a liottle different. The main characters are all Asians so there's a bit of cross-cultural... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMagic-Animal7 December 27, 2019

What the heck! Its just sex sex sex.

I was watching this movie after one of my moms friends suggested it. Throw out the whole movie there was a man taking drugs and just everyone talking about sex.... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 16, 2019

Hilarious!! But some some senes are a little inappropriate

I loved the movie!! It was great though there were some pretty inappropriate senes that me and my mom skipped through. Super funny if you’re old enough to get t... Continue reading

What's the story?

In ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE, childhood best friends from San Francisco lose touch after an awkward teenage sexual encounter. Sixteen years later, Sasha (Ali Wong) is a celebrity chef in Los Angeles, and Marcus (Randall Park) still lives at home and works with his widowed dad, Harry (James Saito). Marcus is in the same band and playing in the same neighborhood dive bars that he's always played. When Sasha returns to San Francisco to open a new restaurant, their paths cross again. Both have a significant other in their lives, but sparks still fly. It's scary this time, though, and that awkward moment from the past just doesn't go away. Most important, their lives and values have evolved so differently -- Sasha is now a sophisticated red-carpet gal, while Marcus is unimpressed by grandeur. Still there's something between them that they can't ignore. Missteps and unorthodox relationships continue to keep them apart -- what will it take for these two people so obviously meant for each other to find their way home?

Is it any good?

What could have been a routine, predictable fairy tale stands out thanks to spirited performances, spot-on cultural observations, and an appearance by a movie star eager to poke fun at himself. Always Be My Maybe is a collaborative effort by people who had a common goal and let vanity fall away to find the humor in two characters stumbling their way toward a lifelong connection. And the food, whether gloriously pretentious or marvelously homey, is a tasty side dish to the main story. 

That said, it's a good but not great movie. There's minimal stereotyping (Sasha's parents bear the brunt of it), but for the most part the characterizations are thin and unsurprising. And situations are often farcical, though appealing. It's still worth a look, and it's great to see another mainstream movie tackling representation in a positive way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about diversity in mainstream movies. Do you think it's improving? Why or why not? Do you watch and appreciate films about cultures other than your own?

  • When did you know how Always Be My Maybe would end? How does being able to guess at parts of a plot affect your enjoyment of a movie?

  • What role does sex play in the story? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • How are communication and integrity important to the film's messages?

  • Food is an essential element in this movie. How did the filmmakers relate the different meals, kitchens, restaurants, and cooking styles to the two main characters? How do you think cuisine plays a symbolic role in the storytelling? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romcoms

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