man who is just about to get a divorce has to have a very intimate
discussion with his little daughter.
wants to know how he met and fell in love with her mother. Not the standard
boilerplate story, either, but the real, detailed story. And, by extension
– how did the love die and end in divorce? Also, she wants to know if he
loved other women before he got married. What happened with them? How did
he know that the mother was the right choice?
Therefore, he decides to tell her the whole story – but he tries to blunt
the story by making a game of it. He will tell about his ex-wife and the
two other important women in his life, but he will not use their real
names. The daughter will have to figure out which story is her mother.
a sweet, charming conceit, even though if you think about it at all, you
know it makes no sense. A ten year old girl who lives with her mother five
days a week is going to have at least a basic idea of her mother’s life
history. She will know where her mother was from, what she does for work,
what her passions and interests are. It wouldn’t take a whole movie for her
to figure out which woman was her mother, even if her father promised to
change the names and some details. She should know within the first few
minutes. Why make it a game anyway? Also, a lot of the things that dad
tells about seem a little inappropriate to tell a little girl – particularly
when those things are about the girl’s parents.
Definitely, Maybe is worth the jump. However, sometimes you have to take a leap of faith for the premise of a
I have a confession to make. In real life, I am one of the most cynical
people in the world when it comes to love. That said – I’m a total sucker
for a romantic comedy – but only if it is done well and intelligently.
There is nothing I hate more than a bad, stupid, clichéd rom-com, but if the
characters are interesting and there is a true sense of romance, I will buy
into most anything they say.
had me from hello.
somewhat surprised me, because the film is a starring project for Ryan
Reynolds – an actor that I have never, ever gotten. Just read this long
list of lame projects – Waiting, Van Wilder, The Amityville Horror,
Smokin’ Aces, Just Friends, The In-Laws (the 2003 remake) and Two
Guys, A Girl & A Pizza Place. In fact, due to this weak history, I’ve
sort of avoided films with his name. But – credit where it’s due – Reynolds
makes a very likable main character here.
surveys almost two decades in the life of a character named Will Hayes
(though it mostly hones in on the years from 1992 to 1997 or 1998) – who
over the years goes from a bright-eyed, idealistic campaign worker for Bill
Clinton’s first Presidential run to a somewhat jaded advertising exec. But,
as his daughter says at one point when he is talking about his career,
that’s fine, but what about the women?
There are three women in Will’s life over these years. The first is Emily,
his beautiful blonde college sweetheart (Elizabeth Banks of Invincible
and The 40-Year-Old Virgin). She wants him to come back to
Wisconsin; he wants her to move to New York.
there is April, the quirky-but-hot redhead (Isla Fisher of Wedding
Crashers) who also works for the campaign – but unlike most, she is
there for the paycheck, not for the cause. The two become close friends,
but there is a tantalizing sexual tension between them. Unfortunately, it
seems that every time one is single, the other is not.
last was a sultry brunette (yes, Will, hits all the natural hair shades
except gray here) named Summer, played by Rachel Weisz of The Constant
Gardener. She is an old college friend of Emily’s who has become a
reporter. She had been dating a jaded older Professor (Kevin Kline) when
they meet, who also becomes a kind of de facto mentor
for Will as well.
of the women slip in and out and back in and back out of Will’s life over
the years. Each of the actresses are spot on, charming, sweet and sexy.
You can see why Will would fall for all three.
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine herself, is terrific as the
daughter. She is occasionally given precocious things to say or do, but
Breslin rarely feels fake. Again, the father-daughter relationship
sometimes seems a little Hollywood – but as long as you buy into the story
of Definitely, Maybe, you overlook the fact that she is wiser than
her years and just go for it.
like the whole film.
Is it a perfect movie? No. Of course not. Did I
pretty much love it, anyway? Yes, definitely.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: March 22, 2008.