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|Index||162 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This should have been a much more likable film, it was filmed in New
York City & the city of my birth never looked better,
I do not remember NYC ever looking that clean & beautiful. The entire cast is likable, there was not a single person I did not or would not have wanted to know.
Ryan Reynolds has the leading role & he is a good competent romantic lead, The 3 actresses who play his love interests are all quite beautiful & talented.I would liked to have more scenes of both Derek Luke & a bearded almost unrecognizable Kevin Kline, They are 2 fine actors, Of course we must mention the lovely cute moppet who plays the young very cute & overly wise daughter. Abigal Breslin. She just was too cute,hopefully in her next film she can be more of a brat.
The production is well done,
SO, why haven't I liked this movie better.
Its the script, ADAN BROOKS both wrote & directed this near miss.
The story is just not believable & as much as I tried to accept what was happening, I just could not
Also the running time of 112 minutes is about 20 minutes too long.
Side note & thank you to my first movie critic mentor Wanda Hale of the NY Daily News of the 1940's, You said then, many films are 20 minutes too long, they still are.
Ratings: **1/2 (out of 4) 74 points (out of 100)IMDB 6 (out of 10)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The makers of the magical Love Actually are here, bringing something romantic yet again. But even this one has a fresh new feeling too. The movie just lacks one factor "maybe", & i.e the comic factor. There are hardly few comic sequences, rather this one is a pure romantic drama. The movie is 'bout Will Hayes(Ryan Reynolds) who is 'bout to be divorced from his wife. And one fine night, Will is forced to reveal his own love "lives" to her daughter & 'daddy' asks her daughter to identify at the end, who her mother is! The screenplay has its own freshness, which slowly turns you on. Along with Isla Fisher(looks lovely throughout), Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz & Abigail(daughter), the movie is a pleasant watch. Performances are quite fine by everyone. A fine romantic movie, which would please your mind, must watch for a romantic movie lover !
Wife and I were tired of movies full of violence so I rented this flick and I don't normally go to these types of movies. I enjoyed this one perhaps identifying with the fathers dealing with his daughters questions as I have had to do with two daughters and now with three grand daughters. I go to movies to enjoy myself and for 90 minutes get away from serious thoughts and this movie did the trick. I thought it peculiar that Kevin Klein received no billing on the Jacket nor in here. Such a box office leading man receiving no billing at all is weird to this movie goer. I expect we will see more of Ryan Reynolds who seems to be climbing the ladder of leading men. All of the female actresses were easy on the eye and did a good job of portraying their various roles. I did not think the writing came up to the standard of Notting Hill, which was full of one liners that were brilliant.
Okay, it may not be as great as "When Harry Met Sally ..." but it still is better than a lot of romantic comedies I've seen lately. The guy who wrote and directed this also wrote "French Kiss" which is an all time favorite of mine. So I give this 9 stars. It is what I go to the movies for which is to feel good. This movie has a feel good quality and most of all I like the ending. I felt it was an original type of story especially how it is told. I wish Adam Brooks would write more of these. This one is up there with "French Kiss". The acting is very good and I was surprised at how much I liked Ryan Reynolds as I have seen him in other things I did not like him in. All the women actors were great as was the little girl. You could see a lot worse movies than this one. This was not a waste of money.
Coming across as a breezy cross between Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell,
Ryan Reynolds ("Just Friends") is a likable enough presence in this
2008 romantic comedy, but he simply lacks enough gravitas to be the
compelling core of this story. While he doesn't suffer from the same
degree of adolescent smugness plaguing Ashton Kutcher, Reynolds has one
of those pliable personalities that fail to leave an indelible mark on
the screen, which is too bad since the role requires someone who can
ground the story at the same time he can elevate those around him.
Fortunately, director/writer Adam Brooks doesn't leave his leading man
high and dry since he cast three solid actresses as his various love
interests, as well as the omnipresent Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss
Sunshine") as his doting daughter.
The time-flipping plot revolves around a bedtime story that soon-to-be-divorced political consultant Will Hayes tells his ten-year-old daughter Maya. Unaware of her parents' lives before their marriage, Maya wants to hear about their romance with an interest in sparking memories that will hopefully make him change his mind about the divorce. Since two other women play pivotal roles in his past, Will suddenly decides to change the names of all the people in his account, thus leaving Maya to guess which one is her mother. It's a charming gimmick but a gimmick nonetheless, which gives rise to the inevitable flashbacks. Surprisingly, this is where the film exceeds my expectations as it begins with Will leaving behind college sweetheart Emily in Wisconsin to work on Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. Brooks smartly draws parallels between the young idealist in Will and the imperfect public hero that Clinton became. In fact, this may be the first rom-com with a protagonist mirroring the emotional compromises felt during the Clinton years.
But make no mistake that this is a rom-com that can't wait to introduce romantic complications. First, there is Emily's friend and former lover Summer, an ambitious journalist already in a relationship with her thesis adviser Hampton Roth, a renowned and quite arrogant author. Her affection, however, comes at a price when it becomes a conflict of interest for Will. Then there's April, an underachieving free-spirit who runs the copier at the campaign office. Timing is the chief problem connecting these two as April shows more interest in friendship initially, while Will is inevitably unavailable whenever they consider connecting. Needless to say, things sort themselves out, but Brooks provides enough plot curves to make it all reasonably enjoyable. Elizabeth Banks - the horned-up bookstore clerk in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and soon to be Laura Bush in Oliver Stone's "W" - has the smallest key role as Emily, but she handles it serviceably. Although she seems to be slumming here, Rachel Weisz ("The Constant Gardener") effortlessly brings her confident allure to Summer.
But it's Isla Fisher - the clingy bridesmaid in "Wedding Crashers" - who walks away with the picture in a smart, sexy and often touching performance as April. Hers is the most developed character of the three women, and she takes full advantage. Breslin is relegated to a plot device as Maya, but she manages to overcome the bratty nature of her character. In a case of petty larceny in a youthful pool, a ham-fisted Kevin Kline steals his few scenes as Roth. The 2008 DVD offers several extras with Brooks and Reynolds offering a sometimes quite amusing commentary track. There are a couple of shorts - a disposable fluff piece called "Creating a Romance" and a much funnier featurette, "The Changing Times of Definitely, Maybe" that discusses fads and trends in the 1990's. There are also a handful of deleted scenes worth watching once to fill in a bit more context for the characters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***very minor spoilers, there isn't any plot to spoil***
The child in my life and I went to this movie based on the very good trailer we saw. We both really liked Abigail Breslin in the comedy "Little Miss Sunshine" and figured this to be in the same brilliant mode. WRONG.
There are some great turns in the movie - Kevin Kline for one as an egocentric author/professor, Rachel Weisz for another as the woman in love with him and Isla Fisher as terminally eccentric April.
And some really great music, I was thrilled to hear "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone at the beginning.
However, the middle of the movie - and here the 'middle' would be the hour where plot twist and turns should happen - is soggy and empty and flat. An awful yawning chasm of no script and unattractive posturings by the lead, Ryan Reynolds, playing Will, in his endless skirt-chasing schemes. That is when he's not loading what looks like far too much toilet paper into the Clinton Campaign Headquarters washroom, or hustling up tables for a fund-raising event, or stapling stuff.
The father-daughter relationship is quite icky at times and heads into truly unbelievable territory when the daughter supports a relationship that is not the one with her own mother. All she wants, you see, in true Hollow-wood fashion is Daddy's happiness. How truly disturbing: foretelling many, many years on the psychiatrist's couch.
However, in its favour, there is no graphic sex at all. The so-called shock value comes with the child uttering words like penis and thrusting. Ick again.
A nice bit about Jane Eyre, it could have been explored a little bit more.
The child gave it 6 out of 10 and I've left it at that. Mine would be a 4.
"Definitely, Maybe" is a surprisingly funny, sweet, smart romantic
comedy. It's well worth seeing.
We're living through the Dark Ages of the romantic comedy; recent representatives of the form have been sloppy, predictable, and witless. The sex is cheap; the jokes are gross-out, borrowed from teen boy flicks. Romantic comedies should never interbreed with teen boy flicks; the results are horrific mutant films no one wants to watch.
"Definitely, Maybe," compared to this batch, is a model of swan-like sophistication. Ryan Reynolds, who plays the lead, Will Hayes, is not breathtakingly handsome and has no previous experience as the lead of a major romantic film. But he works, surprisingly well. His deadpan is crisp and cold. What tenderness and vulnerability his character feels is underplayed. Reynolds approach, of keeping his emotional cards close to his chest, works wonderfully. I hope Reynolds takes more such parts and perfects them. Given Reynolds' height and his suavity and his charm, I've got to compare him to Cary Grant. Okay, that's a stretch. There will never be another Cary Grant. But with the right direction, Ryan Reynolds could display similar control, wit, and romance.
Abigail Breslin, all of 12 years old and already an Academy Award nominee, is perfect adorable, convincingly innocent, curious, and caring as Will's daughter Maya, whose questions prompt Will to tell her how he met her mother, whom he is currently divorcing. The trick is that Will won't reveal which of the women he'd almost married until the end of the story.
The story unfolds in flashbacks. Will was a political operative for Bill Clinton. In addition to falling in, and out of, love with women, Will reports on the enthusiasm, and subsequent disenchantment, political junkies can feel for a charismatic candidate whose flaws inevitably become obvious (Obama worshipers, please take note.) Elizabeth Banks is Emily, a sunny, wholesome blonde, and Will's hometown sweetheart. The brilliant and spectacularly beautiful Rachel Weisz is Summer, a complicated, ambitious journalist who is fixated on Professor Hampton Roth, played by a shockingly old looking Kevin Kline. Kline / Roth is creepily convincing as an egomaniacal, pompous goat who sleeps with his young students.
Isla Fisher is April, a Bohemian redhead who lives in bad neighborhoods, travels the world, and flickers in and out of Will's life. April and Will meet memorably. Will is purchasing a conventional brand of cigarettes. April is buying a "natural" brand. They critique each other's choices: her brand, he chides her, is much more expensive. She tells him that her brand smokes more slowly. He bets her twenty bucks that that is not the case. They step outside, light up, and pace each other's inhales. Yes, cigarettes are gross and they guarantee a miserable death for millions, but you can't deny that that is a great scene, almost as good as Jerry and Charlotte in "Now Voyager." April invites Will home. Her bookshelf is stacked with one copy after another of Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre." She has been seeking the edition with wood cuts by Fritz Eichenberg. Her reasons for wanting that edition are especially poignant.
Emily, Summer, and April are all desirable women, and they are also all flawed. The film doesn't make it easy on viewers by giving any of the women Will might have married an obvious advantage or disadvantage. Most fascinating are the changes in Will as he lives with each woman. With Emily, he seems most the most basic, traditional, homebody. With Summer, he can channel his inner ambition and professional drive. With April, he seems to touch an inner idiosyncratic core he never touches with either of the others. He could probably have found some kind of happiness with any of the three women; it would just have been a different happiness.
"Definitely, Maybe" inevitably inspires a viewer who has had more than one relationship to reflect on what was, and what might have been, and the twists of fate that brought us to the moment we inhabit now.
As good as it is, I can't give it a ten, because the direction is a bit haphazard, and the production values are good but not great.
I was pleasantly surprised by "Definitely, Maybe". We went to see it on Valentine's weekend and expected an inferior movie. I knew that I did not care about Ryan Reynolds as a lead actor. His performance was bland. However, he looked the part tall, approachable guy from Wisconsin. His lack of performance was quite compensated by 3 female leads and of course Abigail Breslin. All 3 women in his life were notable, likable, and mature. Special applause goes to Isla Fisher, who I thought was best thing in "Wedding Crashers". In "Definitely, Maybe".she brings such a sunshine that everything lights around her. Abigail Breslin purveys true genuine feelings of a pre-teen girl that is dealing with her parents divorce. The premise of a story is a bit unrealistic, but in order for the rather clever and true to life story to span, we have to forget the fact that a father would hardly discuss his love life with 9 years old. Story itself has several twists and turns which doesn't make it a cliché. I even felt some Woody Allen-esquire moments within the movie. Especially when the character of Rachel Weitz started to sing. It doesn't carry any meaning, but it's a nice moment. One of the many nice moments in this movie with a happy ending.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really would like to talk you into seeing this. Its not the best
movie. It is tepid visually, and there are some rough spots in the
But its a perfect example of the writing principles I have been studying, a perfect example of how they can be applied and work even in a pop situation.
The principle of folded narrative is simple. You somehow establish a way for the viewer to be in the story, and work certain well established mechanisms so that you watch the story and yourself watching the story. The primary effect is that you get deeper into the story, and that matters when genres and archetypes force a blase watching habit.
The watcher in here is a little girl, the daughter to whom is presented not one but three romances. She doubly folds it from a romance (a VERY strict genre) to a mystery (our other most strict genre). So, if you were a writer wondering how to be fresh in a genre that makes tons of money but which is worn out, this is what you do.
You fold three ways: The inner narrator-teller, the genre folding, and the folding of story as the mystery.
This last is the most clever because all three women are created as ideal endings. In typical mystery fashion, we are fooled as the "real" solution keeps reversing and doubling back. Its a simple mapping between who is the murderer and who is the bride, keeping nearly all else the same.
Incidentally: a blond, a brunette and a redhead, all desirable partners for the ending. Who do you think ends up as the story?
Well, that comes from yet a fourth fold: a very clever folding.
We have the story we see. We have the story that once told to the daughter, she knows will win the romance once told to the love interest. It is conflated with a specific copy of a book, and thence to the story in that book, one of three templates for romance movies ever since. The return of the book has been used before and recently (but I forget the movie's name). But here, the folds go all the way down: The story is merged with the physical book, which is merged with the story told, and further merged with the story we see and the feeling of love we take away. This business of immutable soulmates.
Why I'm so excited about showing you this is precisely because it isn't great. The writer is not a genius, in fact he's done some rather awful stuff. No, this is simply someone going to school to learn what works now, what the state of the art is, and applying it to a manufactured product.
Oh, and make no mistake about whether this is a girlie movie. Its a date movie targeted at guys. Three choices?
If you want to learn how your inner narrative of love works, you'll do the same.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
What do you expect! It's labeled romance, it's aired on valentines, and
it involves a deadly charming man with many women. Those who are
looking for action and unexpected twists aren't really in the right
Everybody knows how romantic movies end. They get together and kiss and live happily ever after.
We are really there to watch the "how," and this one certainly offers something a little bit different. Let the movie carry your emotions and stop judging critically, you are there to relax, not to work. If you try, I guarantee you it will worth your time and, walk out with a different taste on love and choice.
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