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  Publicity Stills of "Definitely, Maybe"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Genre: Drama/Romance
Director: Adam Brooks
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Rachel Weisz, Abigail Breslin, Derek Luke, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Kline
RunTime: 1 hr 52 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG (Some Sexual References)
Official Website: http://www.definitelymaybemovie.com/

Opening Day: 10 April 2008



A thirty-something Manhattan dad is in the midst of a divorce when his 10-year-old daughter, Maya, starts to question him about his life before marriage. Maya wants to know absolutely everything about how her parents met and fell in love: Will's story begins in 1992, as a young, starry-eyed aspiring politician who moves to New York from Wisconsin in order to work on the presidential campaign. For Maya, Will relives his past as an idealistic young man learning the 'ins' and 'outs' of big city politics, and recounts the history of his romantic relationships with three very different women. Will hopelessly attempts a gentler version of his story for his daughter, and changes the names so Maya has to guess who is the woman her father finally married. Is her mother Will's college sweetheart, the dependable girl next door Emily? Is she his longtime best friend and confidante, the apolitical April? Or is she the free-spirited but ambitious journalist Summer? As Maya puts together the pieces of her dad's romantic puzzle, she begins to understand that love is not so simple or easy. And as Will tells her his tale, Maya helps him to understand that it's definitely never too late to go back--and maybe even possible to find a happy ending.

Movie Review:

Not many romantic comedies start with a divorce. Especially one involving a child. William Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) is a man going through a divorce. Separated from his wife during this unpleasant time of his life, he shares with her custody of their young daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin). One afternoon, when Will picks up Maya after school, he discovers that all of the kids in her class received sex education that day. The curious Maya has questions for dad, of course, and this leads to her inquiring about Will's relationship with her mother. In particular, she wants to know how they met. Will reluctantly provides just such a bedtime story, and what unfolds is a tale that navigates Will's interweaving relationships with three different women years ago, changed the names of the ladies for the purposes of the story, so that Maya is kept guessing which one is the Mom that won the day.

"Definitely, Maybe" is probably a tad smarter than the typical cinematic romance in that writer-director Adam Brooks treats his characters as more than caricatures; each one of them has their own hopes, ideas and interests, and feels like a real person. It's a strong premise for an essentially lightweight film, but Definitely, Maybe handles it well. The pacing is excellent throughout and the three stories intermingle to keep the viewer guessing (though the very end of the film won't come as a surprise to anyone). It's lifted above the usual genre fare by an intelligent, thorough script which properly substantiates every character and gives us plenty of background detail - we see them not only in the context of their relationships, but in their day-to-day lives. Will's everyday life starts out with him working for Bill Clinton's election campaign and there's a lot of political humour in here too - none of it deep, but plenty of it entertaining.

Ryan Reynolds stars as the harried father, while Little Miss Sunshine herself Abigail Breslin portrays his precociously inquisitive little girl. Both are good even if they’re not the primary reason a person would decide to keep watching. For that, we must thank The Constant Gardener Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz, Invincible starlet Elizabeth Banks and (especially) Wedding Crashers dynamo Isla Fisher. From the first appearance of cell phones, to the infancy of Internet usage, to the Clinton campaign that Will works for, to talk of Kurt Cobain prior to his death, to an establishing shot of Manhattan with the World Trade Center proudly rising above the skyline, to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the film does a fantastic job of portraying a time and place that, within scarcely more than the last decade, has so wildly been altered.

It’s hard to deny the charm behind a movie like “Definitely, Maybe.” It’s never overly mushy and, with the exception of an opening credits sequence featuring some especially cheesy narration. The concept alone makes for a more interesting tale, but it's Reynolds' ability to cater to the tastes of both sexes that ultimately makes this a romantic comedy worth checking out.

Movie Rating:

(A definitely charming comedy with a heartwarming story, a dash of humour and aload of entertainment)

Review by Lokman B S


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. Little Manhattan DVD (2005)



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