Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito, Keanu Reeves
Have I Seen it Before: Yes, but…
Did I Like It: Also yes.
Nora Ephron is dead, and thus, I’m reasonably sure that there isn’t going to be much new to discover within the genre of the romantic comedy. That being said, if the right alchemy of a charming cast and genuine laughs—as it does in this film—then my mind can actually forget for long stretches of time that this is fitting into a tried and true format.
These characters are my age, dealing with variations on the same problems I deal with in my life, which is another interesting layer to the modern romantic comedy. Whereas before, the Toms Hanks and Megs Ryan of the world maintained a distant association with my parents generation, I find it much easier to identify with these characters. And yes, that is even with nearly every major character is of a different ethnic background than myself. White people would have a far easier and more enjoyable time of it if they just got over their anxiety about deeper representation in film.
There are moments where the traditional beat leak through. At about the half-way mark when Sasha (Wong) and Marcus (Park) are finally in the relationship they were always meant to be in, it’s clear that more peril awaits them, but up until that point I’m having so much fun with the Keanu Reeves sub-plot, I hadn’t given it all a second thought.
And Reeves is an unbelievably fresh breath of air in the movie. I quietly wonder how thick the boundary between fictional Keanu and real Keanu actually is. It’s easily the zaniest part of the film, and it only more makes me excited for the forthcoming Bill and Ted Face the Music, and that Reeves still has those comedic muscles that he is itching to flex.