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!!!

Confessions of a Shopaholic

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:45 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Confessions of a Shopaholic
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Isla Fisher, Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusack, John Goodman, John Lithgow, Kristin Scott Thomas, Fred Armisen, Leslie Bibb, Lynn Redgrave
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Touchstone Home Entertainment
Release Date: 2009
Kiddie Movie: Good for tween girls.
Date Movie: My BFF didn’t care for it that much.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some cute moments.
Memorable Scene: Nothing stands out.
Memorable Quote: Nah.
Directed By: PJ Hogan
Cool Things About the Blu-ray: There are some “nothing special” leftovers in the blooper and deleted scene areas. Other than that, the Blu-ray specials mostly are devoted to the fashion stuff with a look at Patricia Field and the green scarf.

I do my best to be objective when watching movies that really aren’t meant for me, so instead of watching “Confessions of a Shopaholic” by myself, I snuggled with my BFF on the couch to get a woman’s opinion while watching the DVD, especially since she likes shopping. I guess to start this review the easiest thing to say is the movie wasn’t really meant for her, either. Let’s get to the story…

Isla Fisher is Becky Bloomwood. She likes to shop. Now I don’t just mean she goes “La, la, la. That looks nice, I think I’ll buy it!”, nope, I’m talking obsessive, must get the best, must get the first, must use up every ounce of credit card I have to the point I can’t pay the bills but still want to shop, shop. Becky, by chance, is also a writer, and she would really like to write for a fashion magazine, but instead she finds herself writing about finance, brought on by her love, and need for possession, of this green scarf.

So now Becky has money troubles because of her addiction to shopping, she is constantly being hounded by a collection dude, she isn’t really writing for the magazine she wants to but loves the attention, and wouldn’t you know it, she also falls in love with her boss at the finance magazine place. Ah, life is so complicated!

Alas, “Confessions of a Shopaholic” is a romantic comedy, so you know what that means? Yup, romance and comedy, only for this movie most of it is on the PG level, hence the PG rating, so really, in my adult realm, I found the movie mostly in the cute category, nothing to write home about, and really nothing to snuggle for with my BFF as we watched it, and we both kind of agreed that this movie is probably better suited for the teen girl crowd, who likes to look at fashion, wishes she could buy it, and would find Hugh Dancy, Becky’s boss, dreamy.

Look, I know I’m not the target audience anyway, but the movie sticks a little too much to the cutesy script, which I guess is okay for the tween girls, but as adorable and as funny as Isla Fisher can be, the movie just fell flat for both me and my BFF most of the time. As such, I can’t give it more than 2 stars out of 5, but for your tween girl who dreams about high fashion, she might find it fun.

As far as the Blu-ray DVD, I wish I could say the extras were another reason to get the Blu-ray, but unless you are a total fashion obsessed person, or what some music videos there isn’t a reason for the Blu-ray other than the picture. I mean, you get a little insight into the fashion sense of Patricia Field, some analysis of the green scarf that plays a big role in the movie, and some music videos, but even the standard DVD extras, the bloopers and deleted scenes, just seem to be thrown in for good measure.

Get it for your teenage daughter who likes fashion and impress on her the fact that yes, you can spend too much money on clothes, otherwise, the movie leaves a lot to be desired.

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