Pros: really good cast, quite funny at parts, innocent and well presented, romantic
Cons: it won't have that lasting impression of classic romantic films
A Valentine's Day opening, Definitely, Maybe is one of those films geared towards a specific audience that loves romantic comedies. Choosing to open the film on February 14th will do nothing but help the bottom line of this movie, and when we went to see it, the theater was packed. The movie stars Ryan Reynolds as Will Hayes, a man who has had quite a few problems on the road of romance. Along the way he has dated a few notable people, three of which have made a very lasting impact on him as a person. Through these loves, he also has a daughter named Maya, who stays with him two nights of the week, splitting time between him and his estranged wife. One night though, she become interested in how he met her mother, and exactly why they have become separated at the present time. This leads into the story of the film.
As Will Hayes (Reynolds) starts telling the story, the audience gets flashbacks to when he first started dating, and starts unraveling the mystery that has been his life. It starts right out of college with his first girlfriend, and takes us through about 9 years of his life and relationships. Intertwining between stories from his past, and some very cute moments with Will and Maya as she reacts to things within the story, and the audience gets to enjoy the story just as she is learning it too. As the movie moves through his life, we get more pieces of the puzzle, till finally we get all the answers we were looking for. In large part due to the chemistry between Reynolds and Abigail Breslin (the daughter) really keep your interest as the story progresses, and really draws you into the emotion.
Ryan Reynolds has been making a name for himself lately in quite a few comedies (he was also in Van Wilder and Blade 3), and he does not disappoint with his unique brand of humor in this film. You will recognize Abigail Breslin as the little girl from Little Miss Sunshine and she was equally good in what amounts to a staring role in this one. In addition to those two main leads is an exceptional supporting cast that includes Kevin Kline, Rachel Weisz (The Mummy movies), Elizabeth Banks (Fred Claus, Invincible), and Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers). Together they all bring strong roles to the story, and of course the three talented actresses play the parts of Reynolds girlfriends through the film. They all have great on-screen chemistry with him, and each brings a unique perspective to the story.
Now to be completely honest this isn't really a sweeping love story, or an innovative tale about loves won and lost by a singular character. You aren't going to find any defining moments for the actors/actresses in this film, and you aren't going to come away simply "wowed" by the story. What you will find here though, is a heartfelt story that works humor, emotion, love, and relationships into a film that both entertains and keeps you interested in how the lives of each character is going to turn out. They do a good job at keeping the story moving, and though there were times where it could have gone belly-up, or have been too predictable, it keeps you rooting for a character that hasn't been able to find his happiness yet. I do recommend this one to anyone looking for a non-threatening romantic comedy that might just pull at your heart-strings.