The duality between uncompromising excuses and unfiltered ambition
When I found out that a Rom-Com was coming out on Netflix starring Ali Wong and Randall Park, I radiantly jumped out of bed to my alarm of Buddha sutras, excitedly woke up my family while singing the Fresh off the Boat song, and loudly knocked on my neighbor’s door to enlighten them about the progressive presence of Asian-Americans in film!
In all serious though, I was electrified to say the least (and I rarely get excited to sit still on a couch to consume any kind of content that is purely for pleasure). After an hour and 41 minutes, I truly relished in the feelings of delight I had upon making this movie a part of my day. Enjoying the story and antics, I felt compelled to write this quick analysis on the insights this movie had on societal norms. Even though this is more about an analysis on each character’s personality traits rather than a story summation, I’ll mention…
IF YOU ARE GOING TO WATCH THE MOVIE… STOP READING… COME BACK WHEN YOU FINISH!
Now that the logistical housekeeping stuff is done, I can again say that I enjoyed the movie. An allegory of the duplexity of gender norms in society, I could go on about the cute plot, well-placed jokes, surprising A-list celebrity cameos, and catchy songs that I enjoyed, but I want to delve into the contemporary views of the compromise that needs to occur in order to be #successful and #happy these days.
Ali Wong’s character Sasha is in constant conflict with her feelings and ambitions when dealing with Randall Park’s character Marcus. Although their boisterous squabbles bring joy to the audience and the farcical events that they encounter stem from a myriad of relationship problems only a well-versed marriage counselor would tackle, there is a simple underlying consistent theme in the disparity of their viewpoints. Their outlooks on “change” is what truly separates the couple from being happy.
Sasha is a world-class celebrity chef who sees change as extremely exciting. Her character flaw is portrayed in the movie as being so engulfed with her ambitions that her personal happiness has taken a toll over the years. For Sasha, change is the entirety of where she finds her fulfillment which is where the dissension with Marcus comes from. Marcus is highly resistant to any kind of change. After 15 years, he is still living at the same home, playing with the same band, and making excuses to cover-up this unwillingness to make any revisions to his current lifestyle. Although he is happy, society sees him as a failure due to his cowardice towards pursuing new and exciting ideas which shows in his lack of financial freedom. Eventually compromise is undertaken on Marcus’ end in fully enveloping himself unto a positive disposition on his attitude towards new scenarios and the couple is able to live happily ever after.
After all this banter, what do I want to say? Society can view you however it wants. What truly matters is being fully enveloped in happiness that is right for you. Although this is no PSA notice in regards to going full throttle on any endeavor that comes your way or instead to be completely abhorrent towards the idea of progress, never allow societal pressures to rule your life completely. Be acceptant of new ideas, but stay true to who you truly are as a person. Whatever excites you, do that more often! Society may paint a picture to view Sasha as successful and Marcus as happy, but it is up to you to interpret what will bring YOU a fulfilled life.
Value your own ideas, carve your own path, and stay POSITIVE AF!