Posted June 19, 2008 in The Small Screen

Lately romantic comedies have had a distressing lack of believability or chemistry between the lead actors, and in that genre nothing could be worse. Did anyone really believe that Katherine Heigl and what’s-his-face were madly in love in 27 Dresses? There’s a fine line between playful bickering and real irritation, after all. So the fact that Definitely, Maybe has not one but three credible romances makes it a cut above the rest. Ryan Reynolds plays a soon-to-be-divorced dad who tells the tale of the three great romances of his life (well played by Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, and Rachel Weisz) to his daughter (Abigail Breslin) without telling her—or the audience—which one is her mother until the end. By doing this, he means to help her understand how she came to be, how her parents came to divorce, and a little bit about the birds and the bees. It’s a bit contrived as a framing device, but oddly, it works. Reynolds as loving dad is surprisingly charming in a Cary Grant-ish way, and his charisma with Breslin and the other actresses makes the film tick because you can actually imagine him being in love with any of these women. Combine that with an overarching story that deals with politics (sort of), the death of youthful idealism and parental love to boot, and you can easily say that writer-director Adam Brooks has made something that refreshingly tweaks the tired rom-com formula, yet still delivers the goods.  (Red Vaughn) 



Universal, 112 minutes

Release date: June 24


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