Movie Notes: Definitely Maybe
= 4 stars
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin
Directed by Adam Brooks
Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) about to be divorced, tries to explain to his young daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin) about how he and her mother fell in love. The mother’s identity is kept from the audience until late in the movie – is it Emily, April, or Summer?
- Uniquely shows romance from the male point of view. While nowhere near Notting Hill, it captures the internal turmoil for a guy searching for true love while being an upstanding guy, but frustrated by terrible timing.
- The mystery of Maya’s mother proves a decent plot device and held my interest.
- I’m old enough that I was sucked in by many of the nineties cultural references. Yes, 1992 is old enough to be fodder for a rom-com.
- Decent acting all around, especially by Breslin and Isla Fischer. Although Reynolds seems a bit too much of a straight arrow, I feel he must be rather a blank slate in order for all three women – who are quite different – to be interested in him.
- After the mystery is figured out, the film loses a lot of momentum. The last ten minutes are oddly unsatisfying as the ending is clear, and therefore takes too long.
- Because the mystery was a large part of my fascination, I don’t know if it would be worth a repeat viewing.
I think this flick is worth seeing, but probably more due to my own personal circumstance, as a Gen X-er who fondly recalls the Clinton days, Nirvana, and the crushing let down that Clinton was just like all the rest. I’ve also experienced the middle-aged confusion of finding true love and having the “timing” shift beneath you, only to have it re-solidify later. I’ve learned that people change and mature as time goes on, and this flick echoes my belief that some people may be only perfect for each other at different points in their lives.
For the above reasons I give this flick an extra star, but if what I say makes no sense, leave it at three. But that still leaves it fine as a rental.