Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Screening Log - Definitely, Maybe

Okay, first of all: Would the real Ryan Reynolds please stand up?

Because I never figured the guy who made his name as Van Wilder would be able to pull off the role of Will Hayes in this flick.

In case you're not already familiar with the story: Will Hayes is in the midst of a divorce. As she tries to come to terms with the change, his daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) asks him about his past loves, and how he wound up with her mother in the end. He agrees to tell the story, without revealing which of the three women is actually his soon-to-be ex-wife.

The tale is told in flashbacks, and Reynolds is the key player. It's no easy task to play a single dad, an earnest young college grad, and the leading man in three different romances - all in one movie. The way the character woman-hops alone could be enough to put the audience off, but Ryan Reynolds pulls it off completely. He's believable, endearing, and offers up a huge range of emotion with subtlety I never knew he was capable of. Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz and Isla Fisher all do fine jobs as the leading ladies, but for me the real story is about Will and his daughter - and Reynolds and Breslin connect in those roles really well. On top of that, the script is funny and smart, and the New York scenery is the icing on the cake.

Definitely, Maybe is a reminder of what the genre is capable of - I don't know if this one will go on my annual re-watch list, but I sure enjoyed it this time around.

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