WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Always Be My Maybe.
Keanu Reeves' involvement in Netflix's Always Be My Maybe was no secret, but his role was much more significant than first thought. The actor recently starred in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, a neo-noir action franchise that he's headlined since 2014. His role in Always Be My Maybe is a bit different than John Wick, but it also features a hilarious twist.
Always Be My Maybe is Netflix's latest big hit in the romantic comedy genre. The film, directed by Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat), joins the ranks of other recent Netflix romcom powerhouse originals such as To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Someone Great, and Set It Up. Always Be My Maybe stars Ali Wong and Randall Park. The duo also wrote the script for the movie along with Michael Golamco.
The Netflix original film follows Sasha (Wong) and Marcus (Park), two childhood friends who reconnect later in life. Sasha is now a celebrity chef who moves back to her hometown of San Francisco to open a new restaurant. Marcus still resides there as he stayed behind to help his widowed father with his air conditioner repair business. Their feelings for one another quickly return but their lives start to get in the way... including Keanu Reeves.
When Ali Wong assisted with the movie's script, she wanted to cast Asian-American actors for her characters' love interests. She had her sights set on Reeves due to his Chinese-Hawaiian heritage in an effort to reclaim him as an Asian-American actor. He quickly agreed to the role in which he played Sasha's rebound, and more importantly, a caricature of himself.
Reeves has decades of acting credits under his belt but his fandom only continues to grow. To see him play a heightened and hyper-aware version of himself (the actor even improvised some of his lines) is truly a hilarious extension. Reeves' cameo in Always Be My Maybe is short-lasting but he served up a performance that won't easily be forgotten.
His character and Sasha accompany Marcus and Marcus' girlfriend on a double date. The character Keanu Reeves goes through a roller coaster of emotions, crying at one point and then raging out at Sasha's confession that Marcus was her first crush. The revelation results in Marcus punching Keanu Reeves in the face. The double date was ruined but it puts Sasha and Marcus on a path that eventually leads to them back to each other. Along the way, they also learn about acceptance and going back to their authentic roots.
And it's all thanks to Keanu Reeves! He helped Sasha realize that her celebrity or socioeconomic status wasn't what made her happy. Marcus too greatly benefited from meeting and decking Keanu Reeves in the face; it gave Marcus the inspiration to write a song about the Reeves punch that his band performs over Always Be My Maybe's end credits.
It would be no surprise if Reeves gets more romcom scripts thrown his way from now on. In the nearer future, fans can look forward to his voice role as Duke Caboom in the upcoming Pixar movie, Toy Story 4.