Sunday, March 16, 2008

Definitely, Maybe (2008)

* PT: Will. Wadpaw: To sort his shit.

* When Scott Tobias says that Definitely, Maybe "excels most at not being awful," he strikes at the heart of what makes it such undemanding entertainment yet so forgettable and annoying. Faced with an unconventional structure, a possibility to do something different within the confines of a shopworn drama (the rom-com) and a solid cast, writer/director Adam Brooks decides instead to aim for the middle. His film isn't bad enough to hate nor good enough to like. Despite some promise, it's coasting the whole way.

* The narrative structure could be challenging, but it's not. Brooks tries to muddy the waters, but it becomes patently obvious after about twenty minutes which of the three ladies in Ryan Reynolds' life is going to end up bearing his kids and which one is going to be his true love that he's going to spar with while never quite connecting on the same wavelength until the end of the film, because delaying gratification is dramatic and shit, yo. Also, if you want to be nitpicky, one of the actresses was clearly cast on her resemblance to Abigail Breslin, so there's that as well. But now I'm being whiny.

* Ryan Reynolds continues to surprise me. While what he does here isn't quite on the level of his rock-solid, deeply unappreciated work in the midst of the maelstrom that was Smokin' Aces, it's impressive enough that he can convincingly portray a romantic lead, given that about five years ago I wouldn't have thought him capable of exhibiting any human emotions other than overwhelming smugness. I think I'm really starting to like this guy.

* Isla Fisher, once again, proves she is incapable of any wrong. The film bolts to life whenever she's around, and I found myself wishing quite often that Brooks had forgone the labored, unsuccessful mystery-mom device and just made a movie about these two people finding out that they, y'know, love each other. More conventional, true, but probably also more interesting. But then, maybe not.

* Abigail Breslin is gonna grow up to be kinda hot, isn't she? Jesus, that's just going to make Little Miss Sunshine all the more awkward.

Grade: C+


Anonymous Mrs. Jenny Reynolds said...

You need to see Reynolds in "Just Friends". No smug. Very sweet.

I loves Ryan Reynolds (especally w/facial fur) and yes, I would carry his love-child if he momentarily lost his mind and dumped Scarlet Johotttttttssan for me.

10:31 AM  

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