Monday, July 21, 2008

Definitely, Maybe - DVD Review

DEFINITELY, MAYBE (**1/2) - Starring Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, Abigail Breslin, Derek Luke and Kevin Kline.
Written & directed by Adam Brooks.

At its heart, this is a pretty good romantic mystery comedy-drama. We watch this guy float through the 1990's, with three different women coming in and out of his life. Which one does he wind up marrying? Ryan Reynolds does his first convincing job as a romantic lead, and all three women are good at their roles.

BUUUT the hook of the story means we're either going to get an emotional downer or an emotional dishonest ending. Guess which one the formula dictates should happen?

The hook is that a girl is asking her father the real story of how he met her mother. She needs to know this, as her parents are divorcing. So he tells her the story of the three women in his life he seriously dated, changing their names, and she will then guess which one her mom is. So you have this cute hook, but the closer we get to the end, the more awkward the ending has to be. When we figure out which one her mom is, we also figure out which one he's divorcing. So how's that for an ending to a romantic comedy? Terrible. What's the other option? Well, as a child of divorce myself, I can tell they went with a choice that is completely emotionally dishonest from the kid's point of view, and not even Abigail Breslin could sell me on it.

Too bad. Most of the rest of it worked.

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