Monday, 21 September 2020
Definitely, Maybe
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Monday, 25 February 2008 13:30

ThumbnailDefinitely, Maybe definitely falls under the loosely defined category of Chick Flick, and maybe it’s charming enough to warrant a date with someone special or a night out with the girls. I thought I’d give the latter scenario a shot and headed out with a friend for an evening of relaxation and hopefully a few laughs. Hey, I figured if nothing else it wouldn’t hurt to gaze upon Ryan Reynolds for a couple of hours. And I’m glad I did. Definitely. Well, maybe.

This romantic comedy boasts a talented cast headed by the aforementioned Canadian hottie Ryan Reynolds as Will Hayes, a father whose marriage is ending in divorce. Reynolds first caught my eye in the surprisingly great Amityville Horror remake where he made a full beard and lumberjack shirt look pretty damn appealing. He put in an eye-catching performance, and not only due to his scruffy good looks. Here he is competent, but a little bland, as the nice guy who’s just not lucky in love.

The charming Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) plays his 12-year-old daughter Maya who can’t come to terms with her parents divorce. After a traumatic sex-ed class she asks dad to tell her the story of how he fell in love with mom, hoping that it will fix the relationship. What she isn’t prepared for is the fact that he had three serious girlfriends in the past and promptly informs her dad that he was a slut, or “whatever the boy word for slut is”. He launches into the story of all three loves in his life, changing the names of the women and letting her guess at which one became her mom.Thumbnail

The blonde is Emily (Elizabeth Banks), a small town girl and Will’s college sweetheart who is afraid of losing him to the big city when he moves to New York to work on the Clinton campaign. Young and idealistic, Will dreams of writing political speeches and really making a difference in the world and Clinton is just the sort of honest leader he can look up to. Wink, wink! Some of the scenes in the campaign office are pretty funny lampooning poor Bill and reminding us just how much trouble his personal life got him into.

In New York he meets the redhead (Isla Fisher), a quirky free spirit with whom he becomes good buddies not really knowing that she would like to be more. Meanwhile there is the brunette, Summer (Rachel Weisz), an aspiring journalist who has a habit of chewing up guys and spitting them out once she’s had her way with them.

The trouble is that what really matters isn’t who Maya’s mom is, but who Will should end up with at the end of the movie. The mom thing is really just a gimmicky attempt at getting us emotionally involved. I for one am not so sure I liked the fact that at least one of these relationships is doomed to divorce right from the get-go – not exactly what I consider a happy ending, even if it is for the best. It just doesn’t seem right to me to be rooting for the destruction of a family so that the dad can end up with another girl!

So, the story is so-so and the cast is decent but there is one thing that really stands out in this movie and that is a cameo by Kevin Kline who effortlessly steals scenes. He definitely deserves a mention as an egotistical but charismatic writer who makes a habit of sleeping with his beautiful young protégé’s. Kline is so good that he takes a character with only a few minutes of screen time and makes me wish the entire movie had been about him.

Definitely, Maybe would have benefited from being about 15 minutes shorter, but otherwise is an enjoyable enough bit of fluff. Not romantic-comedy gold, but not complete scrap either. I give it 6 out of 10 stars.