Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Derek Luke, Abigail Breslin, Rachel Weisz, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Kline
Director: Adam Brooks
Screenwriter: Adam Brooks
„Definitely, Maybe” is a long PG-rated bedtime story told by a divorcing father (Ryan Reynolds) to his very clever and cute girl (all grown up Abigail Breslin of the great „Little Miss Sunshine” fame), a „mistery romance” involving three diferent women, each of which could be the mother of his daughter. We are teased about the changing of the names, so that we know that the Sarah from the settlement papers could be the blonde Emily (Elizabeth Banks), the fire red April (Isla Fisher) or the brunette Summer (Rachel Weisz). Ultimately the conclusion is surprisingly outside this dilemma. And by surprisingly I mean “out of nowhere”.
Although the movie is tediously long, the characters are unacceptably underdeveloped. The main character, a Wisconsin young man with presidential ambitions and a Clinton supporter, arrives in New York for an internship in the democrat campaign office. This is all established in the first 5 minutes and it’s repeated at nauseam, and what makes it even worse is that no further traits are presented. Except maybe a touch of self pity that is never attractive. Despite being two dimensional, he still manages to find beautiful women ready to commit to him. The first one is his college girlfriend Emily. She fairs far worse: she has only one dimension – Wisconsin girl who wears sweaters. And because of the vagueness around her, when an extra (his roommate) gets a line, we know for sure a) what is going to happen, b) that it is important in the storyline and c) that we do not care. Next in line is Summer, a journalist with a bohemian lifestyle, because it is impossible to be a talented artist unless you’ve had a lesbian experience, slept with your age 66 mentor and travelled to Europe. And the only one that gets a little back story is Isla Fisher’s character (therefore we know she’s special): the carefree forever young soul dubbed the “copy machine girl” who has an obsession about finding the book that her father gave to her before he died (“Jane Eyre”), and I tried to give a shit but it was impossible seeing how nobody ever bothered to explain how she lost it in the first place. These beautiful bland people seem to be the only four dwellers of Manhattan as they keep bumping into each other over and over again for years. Luckily, their non-emotional drama is sometimes interrupted by the comments of the preteen girl who seems the only one capable of expressing and attracting any kind of sympathy.
The pacing is unbearable. There are long useless scenes that I think were inserted to compensate for the lack of unity by adding “historic setting” to the thematic chaos, and the writer is trying so hard to evoke the 90’s (“hahahaha, they had brick cell phones in ’92!”, “remember the Lewinsky scandal?”, “Bush is dumb”) that he should receive the Nobel Prize for curing insomnia. Newsflash for the makers of this movie: if you say it is a romantic comedy, please make us laugh or make us feel warm and fuzzy inside (preferably both), don’t bore us to death with your useless “transcending genre” crap. The people who come to see a romantic comedy a)expect to laugh at least once, b) should not be compelled to check their watches every minute and c) DO NOT APPRECIATE EMPTY SHELLS OF REJECTED SUNDANCE MATERIAL and d) can see that you are being boring on purpose and they may start to hate you. And my personal favorite: e) all the above.
Will has two operating patterns: when he is not sure what he wants and he is not in love he proposes, and when he loves a girl he insults her by being condescending or he asks her to stop doing her job because she is in his way. All while pursing his lips and crying himself to sleep because of all the hardship he had to endure, hardship that is not only self-inflicted, but also well deserved. The comatose acting of Reynolds is not helping either, and through his long continuous journey he arjfwqqqqqqdsffffffjaosfsanvasifajfnvn aigssagiaosgosagoasgasgagasgosagiasoigagoasogaosgoiasogaviasgaosgiasogosaogaogoasdccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc… Sorry, I fell asleep. Where was I? Ah yes, the point of the “love story” is layered etryuilkjhgfhjkllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll… Ok, I need to skip this part.
I was surprised to se the 72% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I began to wonder if I missed something (besides Abigail who is charming and great and without who I would have left the cinema long before the credits) because I kept fixating on how long it lasted and how excruciatingly slow the seconds passed. But then I remembered that I lived through (and enjoyed) the mind numbing “The Hours” (or the “virtually humorless and extremely talky, the movie takes place during one day in each woman’s life, although it moves so slowly it often feels like a week” as this critic described it), as well as every episode of “90210” (have you seen it? it’s so bad it’s good!) and never complained because the first had actual wit and the second never apologized for being a brainless soap opera.