A new movie released on Netflix, titled "Always Be My Maybe", is an Asian-American take at "When Harry Met Sally". The movie is both written by and stars famous Asian-American comedians Ali Wong and Randall Park. Both of these writers are involved with other Asian-American hits like "Fresh Off the Boat" and Wong has a successful series of stand-up comedies on Netflix.
A recent increase in Asian-American entertainment has shed a light on how lacking the industry is in relatable Asian-American entertainment. There are about 21 million Asians in America, yet only a handful of movies and TV shows represent Asian-Americans (and they all seem to have same exact team of writers and actors pushing for it). In 2018, "Crazy Rich Asians" was released in theaters with an all Asian-American main cast. It is famously known for being the first movie with an all Asian-American main cast since 1999's release of "The Joy Luck Club". The movie starred "Fresh Off the Boat" actors like Constance Wu and Ken Jeong.
The movie was a big hit and every young Asian-American I know has seen the movie.The same circle of writers, actors, and comedians are dominating the Asian-American film industry and as an Asian-American, I am loving it. The push for Asian actors has challenged stereotypes while still managing to have fun with others. The movie also reaches a large variety of Asians by casting everything from Korean to Vietnamese to Indian. Outside of this team, there is no where else in the industry that is accurately representing Asian-Americans.
Asian men have never had a chance to prove themselves as attractive and "Always Be My Maybe" has kicked down that stereotype. I have never been so attracted to a 50-year-old, the way I was attracted to Daniel Dae Kim. It also showed that Asians come in many variations by casting Keanu Reeves. Reeves is Chinese, Hawaiian, and Caucasian and many people do not know that. In an interview with "Today", Wong and Park both said they casted Reeves because of his position as an iconic Asian-American.
The movie is also able to add a comedic touch by playing on certain traditional stereotypes. Oftentimes they do this by documenting the cultural differences between immigrant parents and American-born children. These stereotypes often represent themselves in the pressure to study hard and being cheap. As an American-born woman raised by an immigrant, I find it completely relatable and it is the first time I have felt that way watching TV or a movie.
"Fresh Off the Boat" opened the door for Asian-American entertainment and hopefully more entertainment companies will follow their lead. In an industry over-saturated with superhero's and zombies, a push for Asian TV and movies is exactly what we need.