Definitely, Maybe

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:42 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Definitely, Maybe
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Kevin Kline
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 2008
Kiddie Movie: Nope, most of the story is about love and romance, so unless you want them saying “penis” a lot, get a sitter.
Date Movie: Umm, duh?
Gratuitous Sex: Some kissing and rolling around.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Quite a few.
Memorable Scene: I won’t ruin it, but it made me weepy.
Memorable Quote: Maya: “I can’t believe she rehearsed with Charlie!”
Directed By: Adam Brooks

I am such a puss. I’m sitting there watching “Definitely, Maybe,” and the touching scene is telegraphed and totally obvious, yet there I was, getting a little weepy. Part of the problem I have seeing movies is, for me, foreshadowing is usually second nature, and I try not to let it influence my review, but damn, it almost sucks worse when you know what’s coming, you’ve already prepared for it in your head with “Oh yea, he’s gonna” do this, the moment comes, and you get weepy anyway. Like I said, I’m such a puss. Ugh! I hereby turn in my guy-card.

Anywho, “Definitely, Maybe” shows us that kids can be both inquisitive and wise, and no one is more inquisitive and wise than ten-year-old Maya (Abigail Breslin), especially after she was just given her first sex education class. When Dad, Will (Ryan Reynolds), in the midst of a divorce, picks her up from school after said class, little does he know the questioning and scrutiny he is about to come under, and it all relates to Maya wanting to know which of Dad’s previous girlfriends is her mom (she did, remember, just find out how babies are made) so for an evening bedroom tale, Dad gets to explain to Maya his past loves, and maybe help Maya understand why things didn’t work out between him and her mom.

Starting back in 1992, fresh out of college, with his college sweetheart, Emily (Elizabeth Banks), Dad explains how back then he had aspirations, as a young Democrat, to become President of the United States, and what better way then to work on the campaign of a Governor from Arkansas named Bill Clinton. To do so, though, Will must go to New York City, eventually breaking up the two of them up (don’t worry, that’s not really a spoiler), but this allowed him to find two other women, namely Summer (Rachel Weisz) and April (Isla Fisher). As the years go on we learn of Dad’s escapades and friendships with all three, with Summer being a journalist who always had a thing for her elder thesis advisor, Hampton (a fantastic Kevin Kline), while April becomes Will’s perpetual friend, although there is always that tension of love when they are together.

So, as we flashback from Will’s stories about love to Maya’s interpretation of the women, Emily thinks she has figured out whether Summer, April, or Emily are her mother, and we get to find out, too, only the movie doesn’t end there because Maya, wanting Dad to be happy, knows she has a little more work to do.

What makes “Definitely, Maybe” work are multitudes of things. One was I thought Ryan Reynolds did a nice job at playing Dad, as well seeing his aspirations for the world rise and fall with the world of politics (it’s a great scene when he throws his noodles at the TV as Bill Clinton is awash in Monica-Gate) intertwined with his relationships. You can also see his trouble in finding true love, and how, being a dude, he fails to see love right in front of his eyes. Now, as much as Ryan was good, it is really the women who steal the show in this movie. Elizabeth Banks does a great job as Will’s college girlfriend, I don’t think anyone really wanted Summer to be Maya’s mom, especially towards the end, with Rachel Weisz playing that part well, and Isla Fisher is just adorable as April, the friend and never the girlfriend. But, of course, the scene-stealer was constantly Abigail Breslin who was both adorable and hilarious, and used just enough to not overdo her adorableness and hilariousness

Okay, dudes, if you don’t have a sensitive side and you get pulled kicking and screaming to this movie, you do have three good-looking ladies to ogle at while your honey is touched by the romance of it all, but if sometimes you have a soft side, I think this is a great movie for couples of any age. Part of me, though, is sad, because it looks like Ryan Reynolds is growing up which sadly means no “Van Wilder: He’s a Professor Now.”

It’s 4 ½ stars out of 5 for “Definitely, Maybe.” Fine, you can attribute some of that rating to my being a puss, but there are a lot of cute laughs in the movie brought out by everyone, and the addition of one of my favorite A3 songs (and it’s not even “Woke Up This Morning”) didn’t hurt, either.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!