Worth Seeing? ‘Definitely’.
Being single meant that for the first time since I was 16, February 14th this year was just another day on the calendar.
The cherry on top of my anti-Valentine’s Day festival might have been buying myself 2 beautiful new coats last weekend along with an even more beautiful new Movado watch.
However the high point (or low point however you choose to look at it) of celebrating V-Day was last night when I went to see Definitely, Maybe.
I’ll set the scene, and it was as romantic as it gets.
A handsome young man and a very beautiful young lady, sitting in the last row of the theater, sharing soda and some popcorn, enjoying a nice Friday night together while watching a lighthearted comedy about love…
…sitting right next to me and my roommate Mike.
There we were, two 20 year old guys, with only each other, sitting in a room filled with couples left and right.
Now that being said, and realizing how pathetic our lives were, Mike and I certainly weren’t about to let any of that ruin the movie.
And fortunately it didn’t.
With his biggest leading role since Van Wilder, Ryan Reynolds plays the role of Will Hayes, a 30 something advertising agent.
The movie opens with us learning that Will is being served with divorce papers. We soon after meet his 10 year old daughter Maya, played by Little Miss Sunshine star Abigail Breslin. Upon picking her up from school, Will learns that Maya’s class was given a Sex-Ed lecture, which prompts the story of the film later that night when Maya asks her father to tell her the story of how he and her mother met.
Will reluctantly agrees, and only under the circumstances that the real names of the characters in his story are changed does he begin the “love story-mystery” as Maya refers to it.
Without giving away too much, we meet the women, starting with Will’s college sweetheart “Emily” (Elizabeth Banks, Scrubs, The 40 Year Old Virgin), whom Will is forced to leave when he accepts a job in New York (they come from Wisconsin) to be part of the 1992 Bill Clinton campaign.
“Emily sends Will away with a gift for an old friend of her’s, “Summer” (Rachel Weisz, The Mummy) who Will meets in New York, along with Summer’s boyfriend/college professor Hampton (Kevin Kline, In and Out). Rachel is an aspiring writer, smart and sophisticated but seemingly unavailable until she kisses Will goodbye.
At Campaign headquarters, Will meets April (Isla Fisher, Wedding Crashers) who is working there only to make a few extra bucks photocopying. April is a free spirit, very intelligent but without any real direction in her life.
Throughout the film, Will goes back and forth between the three, although as the movie progresses you begin t0 sense with whom his heart lies.
However the film does a nice job of throwing you some slightly unexpected twists in an otherwise typically predictable romantic comedy.
Reynolds gives easily his best performance in his first, real mainstream role. He uses his usual combination of sarcasm and wit to win you over, but he is able to contribute a really good amount of sincerity to his character.
The three women in the film were all very well cast, however the scene stealer is Breslin.
There was some genuine chemistry between Reynolds and Breslin as the Father/Daughter relation is pulled off beautifully. She is beyond adorable and very enchanting, yet manages to come across as wise behind her years, at one point telling her father that she only wants him to be happy, and knows he isn’t.
The movie seemed to be a bit long towards the end, however it didn’t take away from the story as the ending of the movie wraps up more or less the way you want it to.
There is also a really funny dose of historical humor, as the film takes place over a span on 16 years, beginning in 1992 with Clinton running for President.
Some of the better moments of this include Will being introduced to the cell phone, seeing a very young George W. Bush taking greater pride in his ownership of the Texas Rangers baseball team than his Presidential father, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1997.
Overall, while the movie follows the traditional romantic comedy formula, Mike and I both really enjoyed it…at least until we left the theater once again realizing how pathetic we were.
Regardless, the acting was better than you would expect from a movie of this sort, and the story was both fun and convincing.
If deciding whether or not you want to take the time and spend the money to see this movie, I would ‘definitely’ recommend it.
Final Grade: B
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