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Definitely, Maybe

June 13, 2011

Definitely, Maybe (2008)
Director: Adam Brooks
Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz

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Synopsis: Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) recounts to his daughter over the course of a night, the story of his romantic dilemmas with three different women.

Review: Working Title’s sickly sweet, crowd-pleasing paws can be detected all over this slick and glossy rom-com. Every scene has been configured for its maximum sentimental or smarmily comic effect, and the whole project whiffs of being micro-conceptualised by a team of screenwriters with its arch conceit of a father telling the story of his love-life over one night to his cute daughter. This conceit sets the prototype plot in motion as a cipher-like Ryan Reynolds bounces between three different women (Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher and Rachel Weisz) over a series of years in a Nineties/Noughties New York already synonymous with numerous other rom-coms and of course, the Sex and the City series. If one can avoid being suckered in by the sentiment, then there are quite a few glaring flaws to the narrative, one of which is that Ryan Reynolds doesn’t seem to age, even though his character presumably dates these women over a series of years, before bringing up an eleven-year old daughter. Stranger still is that the conceit revolves around a father telling his love-life to his daughter over one night – presumably at eleven she’s a little too young to know her father’s dating/sexual history, and it’s hard to believe that it’s the first time she would have asked how her mother and father actually met. (June 2011)

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