Sep 7, 2009

[Movies] Definitely, Maybe (2008)

Definitely, MaybeI don't hate romantic comedies. Admittedly, I don't particularly love them and I rarely go out of my way to watch them but when I am faced with them, it's not that an unpleasant experience. Of course now my partner turns out to have a thing for these kinds of movies, so expect a few more of them in the future.

Now what I am very much into is Ryan Reynolds - can you blame me? The guy is pretty witty, nicely funny, quite charming and of course rather hot to boot. Then again, he's not that bad even in non-shirtless scenarios, although I'll still go out of my way for the shirtless ones.

So as a nice feel-good movie to watch on a rainy holiday like this, we loaded this Ryan Reynolds film into the DVD player.

Definitely, Maybe is a quaint combination of the premise behind the TV sitcom How I Met Your Mother and the storytelling element used in The Princess Bride. Here, Ryan Reynolds plays Will Hayes who is the father of 10 year old Maya (Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Sunshine fame). On the brink of a divorce, Maya manages to convince her father to tell her the story of how he met her mother although he does so by changing the names of the people involved. The tale turns out to be a lot more complicated than your usual romance given it's a tale that starts in 1992 and ultimately involves three women - his college sweetheart Emily (Elizabeth Banks), fellow Clinton campaign volunteer April (Isla Fisher) and journalist Summer (Rachel Weisz).

Will goes on to tell the story of the three women and how he got involved with all of them over the years, all the while Maya continues to try and figure out which one is her mother. The experience turns out to be a nice way for the two to bond, and ultimately helps Will process the events of his own life and figure out where to go next considering his divorce.

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12:  (U.S.  Actors Abigail...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Ryan Reynolds was pretty well cast here, even though the role had no shirtless scenes. He played on his key strength from his TV sitcom days - his ability to seemingly ramble and prattle on in a way that's geekily endearing and quite charming on the whole. They even managed to make him seem a lot younger than he actually is, all through the magic of a little make-up and a shorter haircut.

Abigail Breslin was just adorable in this film and she's certainly growing up to be quite the actress. She has captured that function in movies of being the precocious little girl while remaining physically cute to boot. It's sad how so many female child actresses have tried to follow this same path only to turn out rather...unappealing in their older years. I'll not name names.

The story is nice enough and like other romantic comedies, it had it's fair share of predictable moments. However they weren't too bad and were merely logical results of the actions of the characters.

I really liked how the whole movie was well situated in its time. The use of Bill Clinton's political career as a sort of storytelling marker along with good use of 90's music really helped things along. I swear, there are few things that are better at instantly capturing the feel of a time period than music. Oh, and the opening sequence was just awesome. Totally.

Definitely, Maybe is quite the endearing movie that is part romantic comedy and part children's story and all wrapped up rather well. It gets 4 secondhand copies of Jane Eyre out of a possible 5.

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