With the director of Love Actually and Notting Hill at the helm of this Valentine’s Day love-fest called Definitely, Maybe, one can not help but think that this will be another comedic love story that will shine this Valentine’s Day with the main star, Ryan Reynolds, at the helm.
The plot of this new-age love story stars Ryan Reynolds as Will Hayes, a 30-something Manhattan dad is in the midst of a divorce. His ten-year-old daughter Maya, played by Abigail Breslin, starts to delve into her father’s past life, before the marriage. Maya wants to know absolutely everything about how her parents met and fell in love and thus starts the story of Will’s past love life. The story then jumps to a flashback to 1992 where Will, a young, politician who moves to New York from his hometown in Wisconsin to begin working on the Clinton campaign.
Will then begins to relive his past as a 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 for his daughter. While on the campaign trail, Will's best buddy is Russell McCormack. They not only have similar political aspirations, they share the same type of women problems, too. Will hopelessly attempts a dulled down, more appropriate version of his story for his daughter, while changing the names so Maya has no clue who each women is and is forced to guess which of these women he finally married.
So which girl will William end up with? Is it Emily, his college sweetheart who seems to good to be true, or April, the artsy copy girl he works with during the Clinton campaign, or is it Summer, the journalist who is sleeping with her thesis professor?
The movie is set up in a very interesting way. As William recounts his post-college life to his daughter you are also trying to find out who Will ends up with. Each girl has her ups and downs but there still is that hinting suspicion of the mystery wife he is divorcing. As for a romantic comedy, this movie has all the elements to make this a great movie but something seems to be missing. The acting is on pair and you stay hooked throughout the movie but the subplot of William being a politician seems to drag the story down.
The main character might be Ryan Reynolds, but the movie is stolen by his daughter Maya who is such an adorable asset to this movie that she is acting well beyond the age she is currently at and can out act most of the people in this movie. Though April, Wedding Crasher’s Isla Fisher, keeps the reality of the movie going with the romantic chemistry moving with the back and for love between her and William, her devotion to the character is easily only skin deep.
There are a few choke up moments when you come to realize how difficult it is for the love torn Will to make decisions that end up helping and hurting his life. As is for real life, his daughter Maya, continually thinks that finding out the perfect person is easy but as the story progresses she comes to the horrific conclusion that life is not as easy as we are made out to believe. Maya at one point asks her father how there could possibly be a happy ending to this story and Will responds that there most definitely is a happy ending here but he just has not gotten to it yet.
In the end, this movie has all the right parts for the perfect romantic comedy but sadly falls short and leaves you wanting more. Although, not up to the standards of Love Actually or Notting Hill this movie still warms your heart right up until the end. With an ending that is almost predictable from the first twenty minutes in, it does the job of a good romantic comedy, makes you laugh, wanting the main character, Will, to end up happily ever after. This movie would be a great movie to rent and watch on the couch with your friends but not one that would be recommended for spending the absurd price of a movie ticket on.