Definitely Liked It, Maybe Loved It!

15 Feb

This Valentine’s Day I went to see the new romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe, which is brought to audiences from the makers of such hits as Love Actually and Notting Hill. I was a little skeptical of seeing Ryan Reynolds, who is not exactly known for his romantic chops, as the lead in a romantic comedy, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised.

The story of Definitely, Maybe begins by introducing us to Will Hayes (portrayed by Ryan Reynolds), who, after picking up his daughter from school, discovers that she has a lot of questions after an unannounced sexual education course. Will reluctantly, after relentless prodding from his daughter, recounts the story of his romantic past.

This look into this man’s past reveals more than his tragic love life. It also reveals that before Will felt trapped in a boring advertising job, he was an up and coming political wonder-boy, serving as resident coffee retriever/copy boy turned speech writer for the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. The degradation of Will’s love life, however, brings about the destruction of his political hopes, and so the story continues.

Anyone who has been unlucky in love can relate to main character Will. Idealistic, “boyishly handsome”, and maybe a little bit naive, he is the kind of person you just can’t help but root for. Reynolds is nothing but charming and likable. While he suffers from bad luck with the ladies, he doesn’t inspire pity, because he seems to recognize that his solid relationship with his daughter, Maya makes up for his lack of fortune in the romantic department.

Maya is brilliantly portrayed by Abigail Breslin, who has starred in such hits as Signs and Little Miss Sunshine. I must say that I was a little disappointed that Breslin didn’t play a larger role in the film, as most of the movie consisted of Will’s flashbacks. Her portrayal of Maya, while brief, is equally insightful, poignant and downright funny.

Will turns the story of his past romantic encounters into a game, as he changes the women’s names and makes Maya guess which woman he ended up marrying, and consequently, which one is her mother.

The women are decidedly different from one another, in personality and interestingly, in hair color. Emily (Elizabeth Banks) is the blonde, dependable college sweetheart, April (Isla Fisher) is Will’s best friend and a feisty, funny redhead, and Summer is an ambitious and free-spirited brunette journalist.

While it is certainly interesting to see how these three women go in and out of Will’s life, I will say that at times the story moves a little slowly. However, it is certainly worth watching how it all turns out in the end. If you’re the type who looks forward to happy, although sometimes implausible, endings, you will be satisfied at the end of this film. While some of Will’s choices are less than admirable, he redeems himself with the help of his daughter, who makes him realize that it’s never too late for a second chance.

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