Ali Wong: Keanu Reeves improvised so much in ‘Always Be My Maybe’


*SPOILERS for Always Be My Maybe*

Last Friday, ABMM began streaming on Netflix. I think I made it until 9AM my time before I kicked everyone out so I could watch it in peace. It’s really cute. I’ll admit it actually got too cheesy for me at the end, and that’s saying something from this RomCom schmaltz-lover. Overall it made me warm and fuzzy and I was willing to swallow the saccharine for a happy ending. The cast is great. I knew I would love Ali Wong and Randall Park but truly, everyone showed up to work in this film. Even with the really entertaining performances by Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, James Saito and Karan Soni, the standout among the supporting cast is Keanu Reeves. And it’s not even a talent or a “OMG Keanu!” thing, it’s how far he went to make fun of himself. His part could’ve easily been written into an episode for Extras, it was that level of self-deprecation. And – because we need more reason to love Keanu, right? – most of his bit in the movie was his idea.

One of the best scenes in “Always Be My Maybe,” the Netflix rom-com starring Ali Wong and Randall Park, features a cameo by Keanu Reeves.

Reeves plays himself as a love interest of Wong’s character, Sasha. In a scene the internet has GIFed countless times already, he makes a dramatic entrance at a restaurant where Sasha is on a double date with Marcus, played by Park. And he delivers some great one-liners.

Reeves also improvised some of his scenes, she said.

“At the Chateau Marmont, he pitched a couple of things that made it in. Like wearing glasses that had no lens,” Wong told Rolling Stone. “And the part in the game night scene where he lists all of these Chinese dignitaries, that was all his idea. And when he says, ‘I don’t have a problem, Sasha. What’s your problem?’ and starts air-fighting. It’s hard to describe just how shockingly funny he is.”

[From CNN]

The scene that is getting the most air time is his entrance in the film. And it is a great entrance, specifically for me because I did not realize he was playing himself. I thought he was this mythical character, bue he is playing Keanu Reeves to the hilt and it’s so much fun. He and Randall bounce off each other really well and his chemistry with Ali’s Sasha is electric. And Ali does deserve the credit here because Randall thought it would be funny to get Paul Giamatti in the role. Ali said that wasn’t the way she wanted to go, specifically because she wanted Sasha’s second love interest to be, “someone who was Asian-American who would also be Marcus’s worst nightmare.” Love Paul G as I do, I think Ali was right. Considering it was Keanu’s love of Ali’s comedy that made him say yes to the role, it’s neat that they let him flex his own improvisational chops. It worked so, so well.

Us just published one of their “What’s in My Bag” features with Ali. The first thing she listed was floss. Between Ali and Shailene Woodley’s thoughts on flossing, I think the dentist gods are trying to tell me something. Ali also carries sunblock that, as she said, is vital when living in LA. Other items include her red Moschino sunglasses, but we already know Ali’s glasses game is on point, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, a lot of balms, salves and moisturizers (which explains her gorgeous skin), various kid necessities like a bib, Neosporin, Q-Tips and Band-Aids (Hello Kitty variety) and a gold iPhone X. This all sounds like the purse of a mom with small kids. I wonder how many times people ask Ali to bring out her phone just to show them Keanu in her contacts? I’d ask her to show me every time.

And just for fun, Marcus’ closing song:




Photo credit: WENN Photos, Netflix and YouTube

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

50 Responses to “Ali Wong: Keanu Reeves improvised so much in ‘Always Be My Maybe’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Snowslow says:

    I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion here but, and although I find it great that Wong is doing so much work to stretch the conceptions people have of women’s bodies and behaviour, I find her painfully unfunny.
    I watched both her Netflix stand-up specials and the rom-com: the first two are not amazing but the film is, like Wine Country, a real problem. Keanu’s acting is a bit stiff (please don’t hurt me) so his douchebag character is not very convincing and the film lacks so much chemistry between the two leads that his comedy is wasted at that point anyway.

    However I appreciate how she is paving the way for women to be more vocal about their issues and unashamed (I just learned that my 10 y o son has sex ed with a group of boys separated from the girls so we have a long way to go…).

    I’ll go sit in the corner.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      You won’t be by yourself…I’ll sit there with you…

      It was…for me…just…okay…


      Personally, I would have preferred to see a movie about the Daddy and the Donna Summer impersonator…now HE WAS HAWT…and compelling and SO INTERESTING!!!!

      • Snowslow says:

        True, the dad had it! He was funny and understated and interesting, yes, not what you would expect ever from that role.

        Otherwise, the film was flawed with clichés: the sassy black friend, the weirdo friends, making fun of cuisine, the authenticity trope…

    • Devon says:

      I agree and was really looking forward to see the film. What a let down.

    • Lizzie says:

      i like her stand-up (as much as a person who doesn’t care for stand-up generally can like it) but i thought there were huge holes in the script. the premise was sweet, i thought everyone was great in it but the story was all over the place. it just didn’t make sense. i don’t think they really established their rekindling very well. i also think they should have had a scene of him apologizing to her for some of the cruel things he had said. maybe a lot got cut in editing. i don’t know. anyhow – i actually rewound twice during the movie b/c i swore i missed something. i say all this but i totally cried in the end.

      • Desolee says:

        HE probably apologized in some of the many voicemails! (Before they reunited)

    • Lolamd says:

      I love Ali Wong and Keanu Reeves. Watched the movie as soon as it came out. I wanted so badly for it to be great but I thought it was okay for me. I expected it to be funnier especially after having seen Ali Wong live. However I will always support her.

    • Mgsota says:

      I was disappointed in the movie. I was so excited to see it that I think my expectations were too high. It had some cute moments. I think Randall was funny and I really thought Keanu was hilarious. But overall..not great.

    • amilou says:

      I’m with you. Couldn’t stand her from what I saw of her comedy/interviews on NPR. But I watched Always Be My Maybe last night and really enjoyed it. And her.

    • Betsy says:

      I was mortified by the idea of a period and breasts and all that prior to their general arrival. I’m totally cool with splitting up the sexes for an hour if that makes it easier to learn.

      Although I think they should be teaching them the same things!

  2. Erinn says:

    I think Randall Park is one of the most charming, most handsome men in Hollywood. I have a MAJOR celeb crush on him. And he’s SO funny.

    I kind of assumed a lot of Keanu’s stuff was improvised because it just seemed so larger than life (in a good way) in the trailer.

    I’m looking forward to watching this.

    • Desolee says:

      I’d never seen his work before (maybe guest roles not sure) you’re going to adore this, I’d say he’s the star with the best lines and delivery for sure

      • Snowslow says:

        Even though I didn’t like the film I agree with you. He definitely has the best lines and his voice is like melting sugar for me, very very sexy. (Apart from Wong’s “This is fishing?” in the beginning which I found hilarious.)

      • Erinn says:

        Ugh, I’ll love it for those reasons. I’m going to be honest, I don’t particularly care if it’s not a great movie, I’m mainly watching it for him haha.

    • holly hobby says:

      Randall Park was in VEEP. I forgot what his role is. However he plays the dad in the just renewed, Constance Wu’s bane of existence, Fresh off the Boat. He’s hilarious in that. I caught the early seasons and he was funny. Then they brought in the white neighbors and it became run of the mill.

    • Kate says:

      This movie def made me see RP in a different light. I think I have a crush now.

  3. Jerusha says:

    In ABMM, Keanu mocks so many of the impressions people have of him and he’s hilarious. He looks like he had a blast doing this film.

    • bros says:

      I thought Keanu was fantastic and one of the highlights of the movie, which, like others posted, is only OK. there were some LOL moments but Wong is not as funny as Randall Kim, or at least not as good of an actor as he is. some funny parts in the script.

  4. Mariposa says:

    I’d heard nothing about the film before I watched it, and I loved it! I really liked how the character’s cultural backgrounds allowed for a lot of specificity in the movie, but the leads were also fully-fleshed characters – not playing stereotypes.

    I thought Kenau was really funny, and that part of the movie took me by surprise because it was so bizarre. Yes, the ending was shmaltzy – I thought it was the weakest part of the film.

  5. aiobhan targaryen says:

    First, who told Ali to put those ugly shoes with that cute dress in the last photo? I realize that she was probablly going for comfort but those shoes are horrible.

    Now on the the movie. I overall liked it and Keanu was hilarious.

    Actually everyone was great on their own but I just was not sold on the couple. I wanted to love the couple, but found that towards the end I wished they had just gone there seperate ways. She deserved better. Vivian and Michelle were my favorite supporting characters along with the father.

    Randall Park’s song during the end credits was entertaining and catchy.

    • ByTheSea says:

      I liked the movie and also thought she could do better than Marcus. LOL He was a bit of a loser. And one of my pet peeves is women always being told to settle for mediocrity. Keanu was hysterical.

  6. launicaangelina says:

    The Keanu song is hilarious! I enjoyed the movie and loved Ali Wong’s comedy specials.

    • Thea says:

      Yeah, the song was hilarious. I read that it was Keanu’s idea add the love stuff to the song so that it would be more about the love story rather than just him. And that’s how the second verse got expanded.

    • Snazzy says:

      that song is just so so funny. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but am looking forward to it!

  7. Esmom says:

    I haven’t seen the film yet but based on what you’re saying I don’t think I could love Keanu more.

    Yes to carrying floss! (And I agree maybe the universe is trying to get you to floss, lol.) I once was pretty new at a job and got something major stuck in my teeth at lunch and had to suffer the rest of the afternoon with it, dealing with clients while it was driving me crazy. I asked everyone else at the office to borrow some but no one had any. I’ve had it in my bag ever sincere although I haven’t needed to use it. But still.

  8. elimaeby says:

    My main issue with the movie was that, as much as I love Park and have a massive crush on him, his character was kind of a dick, as was Wong’s. It played into that old trope of arguing as foreplay that a lot of rom-coms do. If you’re fighting all the time, that’s not flirting, that’s dysfunction. It can lead to verbal and psychological abuse down the line. I just get exhausted watching couples bicker like it’s cute.

  9. deezee says:

    Funny that she wanted an Asian-American but chose a Eurasian Canadian. LOL

    • Jag says:

      You’re correct about the Canadian part, but he’s more than Eurasian: “His mother is English and hails from Essex. His father, an American from Hawaii, is of Chinese-Hawaiian, English, Irish, and Portuguese descent.”

  10. Desolee says:

    His lines were amazing. Lainey mentioned the restaurant scène was Oscar worthy but I liked the hotel scene even more. (I have to disagree about the chemistry it was fine but the two mains had the real chemistry because they had a deep connection and understanding which their lines constantly demonstrated so well. Jenny was sooooo funny too. And now I know why Randall park is so popular! Love his voice. I didn’t love Ali’s more recent comedy special but this was really good. she’s not out of place as an actress (not sure if this is her first acting?) and i will for sure check out whatever she writes next. I liked her scenes with her parents too. Everything was a little too sweet at the end but I ate it up.

  11. Kittycat says:

    I heard Keanu would be in the movie but I didnt expect him to be playing himself.

    It’s really hilarious.

  12. smee says:

    Both the leads were great but the script was SO bad…I expected more. I thought Park’s girlfriend’s reaction to Keanu was hilarious. The ending was exceptionally lame…

  13. Avery says:

    I loved this movie! I liked it more than I thought i would. Keanu was hilarious and I had some serious laugh out loud moments. I am not even a rom-com person. I watched because I love Keanu and John Wick is my jam. I was delightfully surprised. Keanu has great comedic timing and was just really self deprecatingly funny.

  14. Fluffy Princess says:

    I just saw it yesterday, and frankly, I loved it. I wasn’t expecting the be-all and end-all rom-com–I wanted a light-hearted, funny movie and this delivered it.

    Randall Park is hilarious–some of his lines in the movie are amazingly clever, but so, so funny.

    I really didn’t know what to expect of Keanu but he he delivered the sexy, the funny and the crazy.

    I definitely think it’s worth the time to watch it.

    • dj says:

      We watched the movie this weekend. Both my husband and I really laughed out loud (he’s a much harder sell than myself). Randall Park was really funny and his rapping skills were impressive esp. the song over the credits. Keanu I always love but really was in the minority here and did not enjoy his performance that much. I did appreciate how much K put into his part for enthusiasm though. I’m with many of comments in that I find RP really sexy and his voice too. But I am a sucker for a dry sense of humour. I recommend.

  15. whatWHAT? says:

    I hope this link is ok, PLEASE…

    the clip of him entering the restaurant set to many different songs is part of a twitter thread on this page. AND IT’S GOLD! Salt n Pepa is prob my fave.

    • Tiffany says:

      There is now a created Twitter account. Keanu Reeves Walking To Music and they are now taking request.

      Sometimes the internet is just awesome.

  16. Teebee says:

    Agree with everyone that was lukewarm to their first viewing of movie. It moves pretty quickly from concept to concept and seems choppy and a little disjointed, which to me made it less enjoyable than I was expecting.

    Then I rewatched it a couple days later, and I enjoyed it so much more. I really paid attention to scenes I liked, especially the Keanu stuff, and even at the end, I was rooting for them as if I didn’t know how it would end.

    Randall Park was the best part of the movie, I think. He had some great sarcastic lines, a straightman delivery, and his rap was awesome. I’d listen to a band like his anytime!

    I think I might just put this on play, as background company, like The Office. Which is coincidental that Park had an awesome cameo in The Office. Does everyone remember it? 😏

    • Jen says:

      Yes! It cracked me up that they replaced all of Jim’s pictures with his just to trick Dwight lol

    • holly hobby says:

      I read that Randall Park had his own rap group while he was in college. Now that’s something I’d like to hear.

  17. Jen says:

    My wife was annoyed by Randall Park’s character and didn’t feel like he could change, and I actually feel like that’s the case with a lot of rom-coms. Still, maybe it’s because I’m Asian American, but I found it really relatable and enjoyable. I loved the songs by Hello Peril and Keanu’s cameo was golden.

  18. SJR says:

    I watched ABMM as soon as it appeared on Netflix.
    I watched it because of Keanu. He is very funny in this, and when Jenny meets him I authentically laughed out loud. Her reaction to Keanu is pretty on target and very funny.

    Its a Netflix romcom, and it is pretty A-/B+ level. Keanu and Randall have some good comedy moments. Without Keanu this would be pretty average. I enjoyed this more vs. Destination Wedding.
    But for myself, Keanu Forever.

    Btw, just watched Fleabag on Amazon Prime..Binged both seasons and I give that A++.
    Season 2, Andrew Scott gives a Wow! performance.

    • Snowslow says:

      Fleabag is so strange… If you’ve watched Miranda (are you British?) it’s like a very very depressing Miranda. But then it is so weirdly funny that I begrudgingly watched all of it. The writing is so wildly daring – it’s one of the edgiest shows I’ve watched about… depression? Self-hatred?

      • SJR says:

        Fleabag strikes me as the main character is finding her way thru huge grief. The loss of her Mother and Best Friend. Grief and guilt and disbelief about how her life seems to be out of control. Her relationship to her sister, Dad, stepmother, and the ongoing wave of men she involves herself with are interesting and funny as hell. In my opinion, the actress/writer of Fleabag is very talented and Lena whateverherlastnameis from Girls on HBO could take talent lessons.

        Fleabag can be brutally, crushingly funny and I wish for a Season 3.
        Andrew Scott should be winning Awards for his performance, he carries season 2.

  19. Elisa says:

    He has the most beautiful smile. 🙂
    I will see JW3 next week, can`t wait! This one looks good too, I loved Destination Wedding…

  20. Amelie says:

    I watched the movie last night. I thought it was entertaining and mildly funny but it wasn’t this uproarious comedy I was expecting it to be. Keanu was great playing this ridiculous version of himself and I laughed during his entrance mostly because I recognized the song they used for the slow mo it comes up on my Pandora all the time (it is called Sail). I thought it was great to have a romantic comedy with a mostly all Asian cast etc.

    But the movie suffered from the usual romantic comedy tropes—overworked and anbitious career woman simply needs to relax and settle for mediocre loser childhood crush. There really isn’t anything great about Marcus. It’s fine he works with his dad and works in AC/heating, nothing wrong with that. But his band is terrible, he smokes pot all the time, and lives with his dad because he’s too lazy to go out and be a responsible adult. I didn’t really see any real chemistry between Sasha and Marcus apart from platonic friendship. In the end I was left unsatisfied because I thought Sasha deserves way better than Marcus but that’s just me.

  21. Barfly says:

    Maybe because Im half asian alot of small details hit home with me, i really loved & related to this movie. I lived with asian grandparents who worked all the time, i had a key to an empty house when i was pretty young & had a Korean best friend next door! This was like watching my childhood, minus the boy lol…and to see the asian female as the breadwinner/more successful member of the relationship is new & delightfully uncommon. I don’t particularly like Ali Wong’s stand up but this movie made me proud to be asian. There are alot of little details the american kids of asian parents will love & remember.

    The soundtrack was another amazing part of this movie. Almost every song had me flashing back to big family get togethers & memories with cousins my age. Kudos to Ali for making a movie this half breed could relate to 👍🏼

  22. The Voice says:

    I’m a big fan of Ali Wong’s last 2 Netflix comedy shows and I’m an ABC so I was really looking forward to this movie! It was great in some parts (Marcus at Tom Ford, for example). I think I rewatched those scenes 5 times but I thought a lot of the movie was cringey. I actually really like Keanu Reeves but I didn’t find his scenes funny at all. The whole movie was all over the place, felt like a long sitcom, and the main characters weren’t very believable. Why have these 2 extremes? A complete loser and an anxious over-achiever. I will say Randal Park was pretty sexy and I was totally not expecting that. This mostly Asian cast movie was still a step in the right direction but it could’ve been better. I’m excited to see more TV and movies telling stories featuring actors who look Asian!

  23. Sammi says:

    Probably the minority in my thoughts but I really didn’t liked it. But I watch a lot of Asian romance movies and it was just like those but in English. I was surprised because my husband even watched it with me and he never watches rom coms lol. Take it with a grain of salt, it’s a time filler 🙂