At his daughter's wedding, time-management specialist Frank Allen corners the reluctant groom and tells him a long story: about the night his wife chose him, and then, about eight years later, when a missed ferry, a corporate groupie, a panicked expectant mother, and a medical test brought Frank's marriage to a crisis. In the midst of the crisis were Frank, his wife Susan, their daughter Jesse, and Frank's best friend, the feckless Buddy. Things come to a head at a lake when Frank, armed with a shotgun, decides to cross something permanently from one of his time-management lists. Is there ever room for whim and chaos? Written by
Ryan Reynolds plays Elisabeth Harnois's father despite being less than three years older than her (945 days to be specific). Emily Mortimer, who plays Elisabeth Harnois's mother, is less than eight years older than her in real life. See more »
Ryan complains that his wife sets his clocks forward to give him more time but then says it actually gives him less time. Moving a clock forward would make Ryan arrive places ten minutes EARLY, so the wife is right and Ryan (and the writers) are wrong. e.g. His watch would say 9:00 when it was really 8:50. See more »
[to Maid of Honor, while wearing wedding dress]
Give it to me straight: virginal bride or slut in white?
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Spontaneity is not a highly esteemed commodity in Frank Allen's catalogue of virtues. An efficiency trainer by avocation, Frank is a man whose own life is organized entirely around to-do lists, time charts and abstrusely calculated probabilities. Then, one day Frank becomes a victim of circumstances so utterly beyond his control that he is forced to abandon his old way of thinking and adopt a new philosophy of life altogether, that of throwing caution to the wind and letting his every mercurial whim determine the course of his actions (he shuffles index cards to determine what it is he should do next).
"Chaos Theory," a small but insightful movie written by Daniel Taplitz and directed by Marcos Siega, boasts a cleverly addled storyline, some sharp, witty dialogue and energetic performances by Reynolds, Emily Mortimer and Stuart Townsend, the latter two as Frank's wife and best friend, respectively. The plot complications get pretty hot and heavy at times but, as with all good comedy, things have a way of straightening themselves out in the end.
Though there may be a few too many musical montage sequences in the movie for my taste - they always seem to be used as shortcuts to get the heart soaring or the tear ducts flowing - the movie has a fluidity and charm that raise it above any possible shortcomings. Moreover, the Pacific Northwest setting provides a scenic backdrop for all the amusing shenanigans taking place on center stage.
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