Definitely, Maybe
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for sexual content, including some frank dialogue, language and smoking)
Genre
Directed By
Adam Brooks
Run Time
1 hour 52 minutes
Cast
Ryan Reynolds, An Nguyen, Matthew Mason, Rick Derby
Theatre Release
February 14, 2008 by Universal Pictures

The romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe starts with lead character Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) receiving divorce papers. Shortly after, his 10-year-old daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) starts asking Dad questions about his love story with Mom. After much prodding, he tells Maya his entire (and seemingly uncensored) dating history—with names changed—to see if Maya can guess which woman is her mom.

Why would he do that? Well, maybe (or definitely) it's just to give this romantic comedy a gimmick to make it different. And it works. This fresh "romantic mystery" formula gives the movie a kick of originality lacking from most cookie-cutter romantic comedies, including writer/director Adam Brooks' less successful stabs at the genre (Wimbledon, Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, French Kiss). There's a lot to like here, starting with the naturally affable Reynolds (best known from Van Wilder) in what could be a breakout role for him. He shares a very fun chemistry with Breslin (who stole Little Miss Sunshine, but has little more to do here than look cute). Rachel Weisz and Isla Fisher create great characters as two of Will's exes. And, on the surface, the movie is charming, likable, and sweet.

But when viewed more closely, Definitely, Maybe starts to unravel. After all, the whole gimmick that sets it apart (Maya's guessing game) is a mystery that the audience cannot possibly guess. But that's not because the puzzle is cleverly constructed—like Lost or something. Instead, Maya accurately spots her mom from Will's parade of girlfriends with one tiny detail she knows about her mom—but the audience doesn't. The gimmick unravels even more when you realize that if Will really told Maya the story out loud, he wouldn't ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Christianity Today
Definitely, Maybe
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.