Thursday, July 3, 2008

Definitely, Maybe (Adam Brooks, 2008) C-

Definitely, Maybe has the beginnings of a very good romantic comedy. Unfortunately, there isn't enough imagination to sustain the greatness. Will (Ryan Reynolds) is in the process of getting divorced and his young daughter (Abigail Breslin) wants to hear the story her parent's relationship. Will doesn't want to tell her, believing the story too long and complicated for her, but after much persistence, he relents and shares the story with her. Basically, the story revolves around Will's relationships with three women: Emily (Elizabeth Banks), April (Isla Fisher) and Summer (Rachel Weisz). What I loved about the beginning was the fact that it kept going back and forth between the past and the present and Breslin was given the ability to comment on each of the women and what was happening. After awhile, though, the film stays stuck in the past, leaving out Breslin's hilarious commentary, and loses all pretense of being a comedy since nothing is even remotely "ha ha" funny. The 110 minute run time is simply too long to sustain the flimsy premise and by the last half-hour Definitely, Maybe becomes tedious to the point that I wanted to turn it off. Two other things I hated: (1) Breslin's (who's talent lies in portraying an ordinary kid) character being turned in to a smarter-than-the-parents, pretentious, Dakota Fanning type and (2) The utter disregard the costume designer had for dressing the actors in 90's fashion. Watch The Player again and you'll see that men weren't wearing those types of suits in '92. And the women's costumes were even more laughable because they were straight out of today and nothing about them resembled the 90's at all. It would be like doing a film about the 80's business world and not dressing the women in sport coats with shoulder pads. If you're going to set a film in the past. have the decency to get the clothes right. Besides Breslin, the shining star of Definitely, Maybe has to be Isla Fisher. I loved her in Wedding Crashers and here she proved that wasn't a fluke. She's still a little kooky, but she turns it down from that movie and crafts it so it fits her character here. Fisher could have phoned it in like Weisz and Banks, but that was some fine acting going on there.


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