Rated PG-13; Directed by Adam Brooks; Starring Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz, Kevin Kline
Romantic-comedies are a hard breed to do right in the movies. Often relying on cutesy coincidences and stupid plots, many romances rely on their stars to carry the whole thing. Definitely, Maybe is one of the rare romantic-comedies that gives us something better.
Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds), an advertising executive who is going through a divorce, picks up his daughter at her school and discovers that Maya (Abigail Breslin) is curious about her parents’ relationship and insists on hearing how they fell in love. Will agrees, but insists on telling the story his way, changing names of the various contenders for his heart, making it a romance mystery. In the flashbacks we meet Emily (Elizabeth Banks), Will’s college sweetheart; April (Isla Fisher), a free-spirited office worker; and Summer (Rachel Weisz), a writer. Which one is Maya’s mom?
What works in this often bittersweet film is that the outcome is a mystery. Each of these women could easily be the woman that Will married (and is now divorcing). Writer and director Adam Brooks provides plenty of red herrings, small twists, and humor to make the movie more interesting than the common romantic fare. Ryan Reynolds makes a likable Will. The actresses are perfect, especially Abigail Breslin as the daughter who can see her father’s unhappiness. Kevin Kline steals his scenes as a hard-drinking writer.
The movie is not perfect. It goes on too long, and though smarter than other romantic-comedies it still has some clunky moments. But if you want to enjoy a movie about a person’s life and his loves then Definitely, Maybe is the film to see.