One guy and the four loves of his life. Writer-director Adam Brooks paints a very romantic tale that I could have seen some personal relation to, and reinforces the notion that perhaps timing is everything. You may have met the most perfect person whom you believe to be able to forge a relationship with, but circumstances sometimes will decide otherwise, and when it happens, it's way beyond one's control.
Abigail Breslin burst onto the scene with Little Miss Sunshine, and hasn't been looking back since. Given Dakota Fanning's been past her age for such roles (yeah, they disappear come adolescent and may return once they enter young adulthood), Breslin's now having the world fawn over her performances (next up, Nim's Island), and here she has great chemistry with Ryan Reynolds, even if Reynolds might look a little too young to be playing her dad.
But Definitely, Maybe's not all about Breslin as it serves more of a romantic comedy with Ryan Reynolds taking on the lead man-boy role as the father who has to satisfy the curiosity of his daughter Maya (Breslin), who's given a headstart in life thanks to a rather candidly explicit sexual education lesson. In wanting to find out if she's an accident because of her parent's impending divorce, she gets her dad to recount his love life history in a romance-mystery, changing names in order for her to guess who her mom is.
And so begins a tale which harks back to college days where most of us have their perennial sweetheart, and from there we follow Will Hayes (Reynolds) as he goes to New York to work on the Democrat ticket for Bill Clinton's election. Then on he meets the other 2 lovers April (Isla Fisher), the photocopy girl who bickers and banters with him in office, and Summer (Rachel Weisz), who's into much older men.
It's probably easy for me to connect with the messy love life of Will's as he flits into and out of favour and love with all three women at one point in time or another, what with his long distance relationship not working out with Emily (Elizabeth Banks), having sharing instant connection with April but they're always seeing different partners and being unavailable, and with Summer, it boiled down to professional differences having to take its toil on the relationship, because one's not willing to sacrifice for the other. I thought these were really real issues that would creep in and how well it works out, will again depend on timing and circumstances.
But the mystery portion turned out to be somewhat a letdown as it was abruptly solved, perhaps knowing that the game is up and there's nothing else interesting to hold it down together. That doesn't detract the movie from moving on to the more important last act though, which I found to be immensely moving, well, again based on personal reflection on what could be. The other moment that stood out (I told you this was quite personal) was that bit on the brushing of the hair. I remembered quite clearly I was on the receiving end of something like that too, which took me by pleasant surprise when it happened. It's easy too with Will, as his taking a hiatus from the dating scene to focus on his professional life, resembled my mindset at some stage too.
Anyway, what also made the movie stand out, was its setting in and weaving through the 90s tracing Bill Clinton's rise and fall, a period where I and some of you, grew up in, what with all the pop culture of the time referenced, as well as the music. The soundtrack's peppered with songs that defined the era (Nirvana, anyone?) and having Massive Attack on it, is always a massive boost for me since they're one of my favourite trip-hop bands. A Clint Mansell score on top of it all, makes this movie musically a breeze to sit through.
Definitely, maybe a winner? But of course! It's definitely highly recommended, and goes into my books as a contender for movie of the year since I enjoyed so many moments of it, cheesy goosebumps and all. Oh, and I would surely welcome and get for myself those wireless earphones.