AFI Movie Club: ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE – American Film Institute
Always Be My Maybe Film Still - Randall Park and Ali Wong



ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE is a modern romantic comedy starring Ali Wong and Randall Park and directed by Nahnatchka Khan – and features the work of veteran cinematographer and AFI alum Tim Suhrstedt (Class of 1976). 


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Watch cinematographer Tim Suhrstedt (AFI Class of 1976) talk about filmmaking:

Movie Trivia About ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE

DID YOU KNOW? In addition to vast and varied roles on film and television – appearing in character and as herself – ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE co-writer, producer and star Ali Wong is also an acclaimed stand-up comedian, known for her two Netflix stand-up specials, BABY COBRA and HARD KNOCK WIFE.   

DID YOU KNOW? Randall Park previously starred on FRESH OFF THE BOAT, a groundbreaking ABC sitcom developed from the autobiography of celebrity chef Eddie Huang. The series was created and developed for television by ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE director Nahnatchka Khan – and ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE co-writer, producer and star Ali Wong has served as a story editor and writer. 

DID YOU KNOW? ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE co-stars Ali Wong and Randall Park both provided voices for THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE in 2017. 

DID YOU KNOW? According to Ali Wong, the casting of Keanu Reeves was aspirational, though she didn’t think that the production would be able to secure a cameo by the A-list star. The production sent him the script – and were shocked when Reeves agreed to meet with Wong and director Nahnatchka Khan. At the meeting, he said that he was a fan of Wong’s stand-up special BABY COBRA. 

DID YOU KNOW? AFI Conservatory graduate and ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE cinematographer, Tim Suhrstedt, had previously worked with Keanu Reeves on the star’s 1989 breakout hit, BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, three decades prior to reuniting on ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE. 

DID YOU KNOW? In ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE, Randall Park’s character performs in the hip-hop band, Hello Peril – which was inspired by Park’s own real-life musical experience rapping in a group called Ill Again.

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below. 

-In what ways does ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE lean into its romcom genre roots? How does it subvert those expectations in fun or surprising ways? 

-In what ways does the film’s aesthetic communicate its intentions? How does the look of ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE echo romcom classics – or the era that saw the release of staples such as WHEN HARRY MET SALLY… and BOOMERANG, both of which were said to have been inspirations for the production? 

-What role does food play in the film – in the narrative itself, but also in establishing cultural specificity? How can food on film establish nostalgia or create shorthand for interpersonal relationships? 

-What other films have cast major celebrities as heightened versions of themselves? Why is doing so such a compelling and fun device? 

-Why is it significant to see a romcom populated with an entirely Asian American cast? 

-How do the characters defy stereotypes with regards to ethnicity and gender? 

-How would you rate ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE? 

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