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Chaos Theory
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Chaos Theory More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Dependable "date flick" with occasion flashes of brilliance

Author: rzajac from Taichung, Taiwan
3 November 2008

The surprising thing about Chaos Theory was the way it was rather staid "date flick" fare, but would occasionally punch through the safety barrier and say something wickedly true and profoundly, deeply passionate and beautiful.

It's a great story about truth and connection, and how sometimes connection needs to be reinstated and preserved even in the face of the failure to fully disclose the truth.

To get a little technical, there were times when I was especially appreciative of the writing. Really great, grabs-you-and-won't-let-go screen writing is rare these days; how weird to find it in a flick like this; but there you have it! Kudos! The writing in the scene leading up to Buddy sitting on the go-'round ride in the playground with Susan had me in tears; right up there with the classics.

You may have noticed a hint of a qualification in the foregoing, and that's because there were those other de rigueur features of the standard date flick I didn't appreciate so much. Didn't care for a lot of the song selections; kind of country-trite. If it weren't for the supremely humanizing bits of writing mentioned above, I feel some of the characters would have come across a bit hollow, and they otherwise sometimes teeter on the edge of falling into that pit.

But... OK: The writing, directing, acting, editing, most of the narrative pacing work just fine and shed real light on love and life.

See this flick! Heck: Take a date!

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Potentially great.

6/10
Author: Panterken from Belgium
6 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The 'Chaos Theory' credits just started rolling here, actually having some pre-viewing excitement, the writers left me out in the cold. A vast array of smug movie 'experts' utilized the title to point out the movie's big flaw, namely a lack of straight-lined writing. Seeing that the script lacked the necessary hilarity to make it a pure comedy, I'd found it better if they'd stuck with a drama, and it could've been a great one too, that's the sucky part. Round the characters more, explore the potentially great plot lines and you've got a wonderful film script, well worth a watch.

You can divide films I dislike into two categories: films that are simply of poor quality (have one very bad aspect or are bad or mediocre all around) or films that waste their potential. 'Chaos Theory' is the latter, I really liked the premise which is why I watched it in the first place: an over-organized guy, with a perfectly fine job, wife and daughter finds his life turned upside down from one day to the next. The situation so it seems, is out of his control. He has made the safe, smart, responsible decisions all his life yet he winds up in a really messy relationship problem, which convinces him to throw all of the principles he clung onto his whole life overboard. He lives, as a he calls it, a life of 'whim', 'chance' and 'passion'.

Sounds good? Well, it did to me too...too bad it's only a 6/10

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Chaos Theory Delivers on Originality, but Lacks Charm

3/10
Author: Kevin Wayne from United States
8 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Chaos Theory is a movie about Frank Allen (Ryan Reynolds) whose life is scheduled down to the minute details all written down on index cards. He wakes up one morning, and discovers his wife Susan (Emily Mortimer) sets his clock ten minutes behind, thus making him ten minutes late to work. Frank's job is lecturing on time management. This preempts a chain of events that leads to Frank getting into a car accident with a pregnant woman turning his world upside down into utter chaos. This causes Frank to question his safe, planned out life, and start living on a whim.

I really wanted to enjoy this movie after hearing the positive reviews on IMDb, but unfortunately I did not. The premise to the movie was original, but really struggled to find a tone and charm. It is not quite a comedy, yet not quite a drama. While you could call it a "Dramedy" it appeared as though the director did not know exactly what direction to take it in.

The beat of the movie was off in that the comedy was not quite on, and gained a chuckle most of the times at best. Often the comedy or comedic situations were over the top, but even if a movie is over the top in the comedy department, it should make you feel like you are part of that world, I did not feel this with this film. Times in which you should have really sympathized for the characters, there was this disconnection. The film never quite hit its mark.

If you have seen any other Ryan Reynolds movies, Ryan Reynolds played Ryan Reynolds. Again, I feel this had to do with the tone of the film and the direction.

Emily Mortimer's acting was believable in her role as Susan. Stuart Townshend as Buddy, the best friend to Frank, could have been better. Perhaps the biggest downfall was that I never felt any real connection between the three. There was something missing. Frank and wife Susan did not appear like they were in love as the film suggested, and Frank's relationship with Best Friend Buddy was weak.

Overall this movie held my attention long enough to avoid me from turning it off. At under an hour and a half (87 Minutes), it felt like it dragged on for two hours. This film had potential, but ultimately was an unsatisfying film.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

it ain't chaotic at all...

8/10
Author: bison-singh from India
18 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I enjoyed watching the movie thoroughly throughout and also must admit that I loved the soundtrack so much that I keep playing the song "Tonight & forever" and "Golden Days" over and over again. The movie is lighthearted with a treat of love and forgiveness for the chaotic heart and unravels the TRUTH beyond the master of his UNIVERSE.... Love seems to be the only answer and conquers everything. So if you are worried about YOUR or HER past lives don't look back. Stand tall and walk ahead the road that lies ahead. The movie also tries to unveils a father-daughter relationship which is not just based on genes but love. Relationship is not based on blood But LOVE. I find the movie simple and sweet and 2 thumbs up for Ryan Reynolds.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

chaos theory

9/10
Author: (lemma-4@hotmail.com) from Turkey
4 June 2011

A successful comedy, drama, and romance… The movie is really worth watching because it represents ordinary people's chaos of life. It is not too emotional, not too dramatic, or not full of comedy. Therefore, it simply feels like that we experience instead of the characters. The characters are so real that you suppose actors/actresses as the same persons with the characters. You find yourselves smiling and thinking it is life, at the end of the movie.

I think the one who wants to see what is happening in our life, won't be bored while watching. Actually, I didn't get bored watching it because I realized that I was trying to analyze people in the movie. Frank is right; he wants to organize everything in life to be punctual. Susan is also right because she is wife and she has the right to doubt her husband. And even Buddy is right because no one suppose that he should be responsible for something. You know nothing goes well every time. Life is not simple so every time there is something blows people's work. And then a chaos… Who knows that missing a ferry and helping a pregnant can cause such things? I think it is not a chaos, but may be a realizing. They pretend their life is fine, but we know that it is not fine. We know because we are outside of the movie, but something should occur for them to realize that their life can be more beautiful than this. They can do this behaving as they want instead of being organized in a strict way (Frank's situation), learning to be responsible for something (Buddy's situation), and may be trusting more the ones we love (Susan's situation). So the movie is a helpful demonstration of life that shows nothing is perfect, and also we are. The only thing people can do is to balance the life despite the chaos in it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Chaos Theory

9/10
Author: (humacinar@hotmail.com) from Turkey
4 June 2011

Chaos Theory is a romantic comedy which makes me both sad and laugh. It is very impressive and attractive movie. It shows us that very small things can cause very big problems. Because of unimportant things we may encounter very important and sorrowful truths. This movie also shows us that love and forgiveness are very important in relationships. Movie begins with wedding day of Jesse and Ed. Ed has some doubts and Frank, Jesse's father, talks with him and tells him his own story. Frank and Susan are married with a daughter whose name is Jesse, and they have a happy life. The only problem in their life is that Frank always makes plans and lists, and behaves according to these. One day, he helps a pregnant woman, and later Susan misunderstands and thinks that Frank cheats her. While Frank is trying to convince her, he learns that he has been sterile since birth. He starts to make lists and do things in the lists. Jesse's real father is their friend Buddy, and Buddy learns this and tries to talk with Susan. After a while, Susan learns that Frank helps a pregnant, does not cheat her. She tries to talk with him, but she does not reach him by phone. Frank also learns that Buddy is real father of Jesse and decides to kill him. While he is trying to kill him, boat sinks and they swim to shore. They talk about Jesse and Susan, and Buddy says they love Frank not him. At the same time, Susan and Jesse wait for them at the house. When Frank returns to home, Jesse runs and hugs him, and Susan also hugs them. After this story, Ed seems more clear and realizes importance of love and forgiveness. At the end of the movie, Jesse and Ed marry. This is really an important movie to show importance of love and forgiveness. Having a relationship only genetically is not important, but loving each other, having attachment is the main thing in a relationship.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

chaos theory - not only funny but also romantic!

9/10
Author: burakcetinler from Turkey
28 May 2011

Chaos Theory is really impressive film. It is a serious, emotional and dramatic. Frank survive his life with his plans. His wife changes the time and everything begins with this. He misses the ferry with fifteen minutes and he had to have overnight journey. He avoid a accident and stopped. He had to carry the pregnant woman to hospital. Then everybody thought that he is father of the baby. Frank argued with his wife because of a telephone call from the hospital and after that he learned that he is infertile. After learning this situation this time he leaves his wife. While Frank thinks that he is living a excellent and planned life he finds himself in a disgusting game. He learn everything and how his wife and his best friend deceive him. After all He thinks that reason of events is living in programs and he decides to be a exactly different man. My favourite scene is writing notes for what is he going to do and choose randomly one then he never thinks what will be in the end. The film emphasize the felling of forgiving in success.

If you see R.Reynolds in the film you can think of laughing but you must not do this because you won't like it. Think of seeing R.Reynolds in a different character and begin watching it, I am sure you'll like it. The film was fascinating and R.Reynolds is suited to film. His acting is unquestionably excellent. In the film, experiences of the father was really effective. I thought that everybody will be in this situation and I thought what they will do? I couldn't find an answer for this question but I think I can't forgive my best friend and my wife because everything is a lie and everything you do with is fake.

In conclusion, this movie is really well worth seeing! I advise everybody. My vote is 9!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Chaos Theory

8/10
Author: nagihan-tutar from Turkey
21 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have watched this movie in the lesson. The movie began with a wedding. Bride's father talked with groom. He told him that a story. And the film goes back in time when Frank and his wife Susan Emily Mortimer are married and have a seven year old girl called Jesse. Frank being such a time management freak Susan decides to set the clocks back behind ten minutes only finding out that she set it the wrong way and Frank is late. This action sets the chaos for Frank being late for the ferry; his time management lecture and making him spend the night at the city. As things couldn't seem worst Frank is forced to leave his hotel room being faithful to not cheat on his wife, Frank rescues a pregnant woman in labor. Susan finds out about the pregnant woman thinking its Franks she kicks him out for being unfaithful. While Frank finds evidence for Susan he also finds out that his entire marriage has been a lie and goes on an insane rampage of luck and random selection of cards he wrote himself on the action he should do at that very moment. Living by the moment. When he learned his wife cheated him decided to kill her but he didn't as he loved her. At the end of the movie love gains. At first I thought it was a comedy but as the film went on Chaos Theory turned into a drama and a very sad one There was some points in the movie were your laughing and you realize that the scene is actually really depressing. Chaos Theory has this pattern of being really funny to turning really sad and depressing to once again a great laugh. Although Chaos has its tears and laughs I did enjoy the movie and was pleased with the film.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An appropriately misleading title

8/10
Author: sandover from Greece
6 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

for what we have here is neither chaos, nor theory. What do we have? For sure one of the most excellent of scripts. Mr. Taplitz should get a wider recognition; for the parable (and perhaps an elaborate and a bit sad joke) he sets on us, is at once a sly satire of behaviorism, an adult and honest confrontation of adult and honest muddle, a great declaration of Love, a tender comment on the nature of the written word, and a reaffirmation of fatherhood. Wow!

Frank Allen (Ryan Reynolds) is a professional on time management obsessively planning his life down to the minute. One day when his wife Susan (Emily Mortimer) decides to set the alarm ten minutes late, in hopes of giving her husband an extra 10', she accomplishes the exact opposite: from missing the ferry to arriving late to his lecture on time management, Frank experiences an off day. While driving home, he almost bumps into a pregnant woman in need of help of getting to the hospital and he does so. At the hospital, Frank is asked to fill out some paper work, and not thinking much about his situation, he puts his own information down and the nurses at the hospital misunderstand and assume he is the father. The following morning, a nurse from the hospital calls attempting to reach him and his wife answers the phone. The nurse, in trying to contact who she thought was the father, leads Susan to believe it is Frank's baby and she presupposes he is cheating on her and leading a double life. When Frank arrives home, he is unable to clear up the misunderstanding and Susan throws him out of the house. Susan then refuses to speak to him. In an attempt to prove his honesty, Frank sees a doctor and receives the news that he was never able to reproduce to begin with.A few days later, the stranger brings her baby to the Allens' house in hopes of thanking him, only to find his wife at home. She then clears up the misunderstanding, but the damage is done since Frank now knows that their child is not really his. Frank goes through a withdrawal. After giving a life-changing speech about living on whim at his own time management lecture, he decides to live his life based on chance from that moment on. He starts his reformed outlook on life with the idea of randomness by making his decision based on shuffling index cards with written options and choosing one at chance.

This is how the title comes to be. What we should add, is the framing device and some touches here and there, demonstrating the brilliance of the script.

The organic framing device is the Big Speech Frank gives his future son-in-law on the brink of him escaping the wedding, since he has just learned that in a small break-up he and his fiancée had, she slept with a best friend. This is crucial for the comedy and the subtle dramatic import, for we come to see this is what happened in the earlier generation, namely between Frank, Susan and Buddy. Why? The subtle difference here is that in the earlier triangle, sex could be enveigling as much as it is delightful; that is something we learn in the early scene where Susan chooses husband on the grounds of the name each of the men present give their penises. Her future husband says - so much for phallic consistency - "Truth".

So, if he sees truth through his dick, how come he is what we describe as anal? Well, in the end, when the Big Speech comes full circle, we see that he has humanized himself, by replacing truth-as-penis with truth-as-love. (The funny thing here is that the Big Speech dimension is alleviated by the fact that he has set up his son-in-law into talking, by giving him two cards from which to choose one, while both have "talk" written on them. I take this as a cunning way of saying we are beings that talk no matter what we choose.) So, to go back to the difference between the situations: in the younger generation with all things being more transparent, how can one say yes and not just simply flee in panic? Frank's daughter, with whom the film begins, says reviewing herself in the mirror, "Virginal bride, or slut in white?" This sounds equally playful and with an edge about the degree women (and Buddy, up to a certain point) in the film respond to the serious seriousness of words. Also, as we come to see, how the absolute seriousness of the written word (Frank with all his obsessive cards) gets relaxed onto the surface of a breath-blurred window pane, upon which he and his daughter are accustomed into writing their wishes and so, tenderly communicate.

That is why in the end, in a perfectly brought together moment, when Frank is gone and his daughter writes on a pane the word "dad", the contrast between Frank's obsessive approach to words and the tender, childish approach is sharply and eloquently lit. And this is wound together the same time Frank inwardly charts a father's terrain: not biologic, not preordained, but symbolic.

And a husband's terrain, and a friend's. How eloquently Taplitz's and Reynold's Frank says: "There are few things more chaotic than the beat of a human heart." So what can one do about this "Chaos Theory"? "There is a pattern, a truth; and it's love [...] the least random act in the universe". (Watch for Mike Erwin's delightful expression.)

The direction is apposite - and sensitive; sometimes a bit awkwardly so, with long gliding takes and smooth travelings of the camera that sometimes somehow feel as mutating and hesitating all at once. This can be putting off by showing uncertain handling, but the excellence of the script makes it valuable.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Knots In My Stomach

3/10
Author: jahremusic from United States
8 January 2011

Chaos Theory is a story about choices, and the impact that each choice can have in a person's life. Frank's dilemma begins when he leaves 10 minutes late to present at a seminar. His wife set the clocks back in a misguided attempt to help him. From this point, his very structured life begins to unravel as he and his wife deal with mutual anger and misunderstandings with each other.

It's a fair dramedy, with many dark moments. I think that some of the subject matter was too dark for a romantic comedy genre. It tends to make the movie very uneven as it tries to go for funny moments with the coarse, tragic subject matter. I noticed that I was too hung up on the unfolding story to laugh at moments that may well have been funny in another setting.

I also had a real problem with Frank's wife. From her public challenge to find a suitor among her male friends, I found her to be annoying and conceded. As I found out more about her through the choices that she made and continued to make in the movie, I really found no reason to like her at all, let alone see a genuine reason for Frank to love her. The end of the story really seemed forced and trite. It seemed like Frank really just loved his daughter, and his wife was just an inconvenient afterthought. Really, I would think that a story with so many dark points would survive a more realistic ending between the husband and wife. It seemed like the writer was too timid to do that, and went for the Hollywood ending instead.

Also, the presentation of the story to Frank's daughter's bridegroom seemed like a horrible route. Was this story meant to settle this young man's nerves? What would this young man think of this family after hearing this story? The bridegroom was desperately trying to leave to get some air and take a walk. If I were him I would've preferred the walk.

Oddly enough though, I think that this was the best, most dramatic performance by Ryan Reynolds. It's too bad that such a performance was wasted on such uneven material. I think that with the right material, he could really be seen as a good, well-rounded actor. Unfortunately, this ain't it.

My wife gave this 7 stars. I guess she didn't have the problems that I did, but I also suspect that she has the hots for Ryan Reynolds. ;) As for me, I gave it 3 stars only for the performance of the actors. The story, subject matter and screenplay literally gave me knots in my stomach.

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