| Any child who has been through a divorce has questions regarding his or her parent’s relationship, and how they fell in love. In "Definitely, Maybe," eleven year old Maya (Abigail Breslin) wants to learn about how “fate” brought her parents together. In order to discover how her parents met, Maya quizzes her father Will (Ryan Reynolds). Will agrees to reveal all, but he decides to answer her questioning, and tell his story, by making a game of it. He makes a game of it by changing the names of the women he dated so that she does not figure out who her real mother is in his story.
His story to Maya actually begins when he was in college, where he was working as an aspiring political consultant. He meets "Emily" (Elizabeth Banks), who would become his college sweetheart, with whom he parts ways on his jump start to his career New York City. Once in New York, Will encounters "April" (Isla Fisher), the copy girl at the presidential candidates campaign headquarters. April is a strange girl that captures Will's attention and gains his friendship. No matter what Will's ride of life brings, she is his friend throughout it all, Her feelings soon develop into more than just friendship, and it seems possible that April is Maya's mother. Then, along comes "Summer" (Rachel Weisz), an old friend of Will's former girlfriend Emily, who makes a play for Will. He quickly falls for Summer, eventually wanting to commit to her. Then his dream is ditched when Summer betrays him to further her own career.
With a little help of Will’s daughter Maya, I found myself following each step in Will's life, leading up to the revelation of his true love. In the end, we are left with a beautiful love story, illustrating the bond between a father and his child. This film is a heartfelt hilarious romantic comedy. Get carried away with a loved one in the romantic tale that Definitely, Maybe has to present. What a great way to mark Valentine's Day in this new, classic love story.
Review By: Jolene Mendez
2 Stars (Out of four)
Review by Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"
An impending divorce is also the catalyst for this romantic comedy. The cleverly constructed premise revolves around 30-something dad Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds of “Van Wilder”) relating his romantic relationships before marriage to his 10-year-old daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin from “Little Miss Sunshine”).
The bedtime storytelling setting reminds you of “The Princess Bride.” The romantic puzzle pieces bear a resemblance to the musical “Mamma Mia” from the male perspective.
The names of the three women that Will spent time with while a bachelor working on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in New York City are changed. Maya tries along with the audience to figure out which dame ended up being her mom.
Will’s encounters with the opposite sex play out like a game of musical chairs where his dance partner changes after each song. Elizabeth Banks (“Invincible” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”) plays Emily, his college sweetheart and the reliable girl next door from Wisconsin. We spend very little time with this character. She is the least developed of the estrogen trio. Armed with very little knowledge about Emily, we don’t care much about her.
Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”) plays Summer, a free-spirited, ambitious political journalist who has a casual relationship with her older professor (Kevin Kline). She dates Will on the rebound.
The lovely Isla Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”) is the uncomplicated and playful best friend/confidante April. She makes a heartfelt connection with the audience. You hope for a silver lining and a “happily ever after” in April’s future.
The movie never explains why Will fell in love with his wife in the first place. It also avoids the issue of why their union failed. The script is manipulative with curveball twists and red herrings.
It is hard taking Reynolds seriously playing it straight in the lead role. His handsome face and adeptness in handling comedic pratfalls overshadow his inability to act in dramatic situations. He lacks the charisma, versatility and likeability to pull of this meaty part.
Breslin is alternatively irritating and annoying with her silly questions that eventually grate on your nerves. The interruptions back to the present are distracting and impede the natural flow of the narrative flashbacks.
Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"