Week 9: Definitely, Maybe

Movie: Definitely, Maybe
MPAA#: don’t know
Showtime: 9:05
Companions: none
Attendance: about 20
Weather: clear, cold
Food: Dr. Pepper, Smarties Peanut-Type, Simpsons cookies from Blockbuster ($6.75)
Expectations: hopeful
Expectations met?: impressed
Pre-show Ads: Milk, Toyota
Indiana Jones and the Bridge to Franchisia – Not unlike Star Wars, these movies have only gone downhill since the first installment. Hard to say if this will change that trend at all. And what is with Shia LaBouef.. is he some kind of specialist actor whose purpose is to kill time while audiences wait to see what they really came to see?
What Happens in Vegas – the Plot Contriver 3000 requires that Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz must stay married in order to split a $3 million slot machine win. It turns out that women use the bathroom a really long time, so Kutcher pees in the sink. Finally, golden showers are mainstream.
Leatherheads – A love triangle between George Clooney, Renee Zellweger and John Krasinksi set in the early days of professional football. If it looks familiar, that’s because it was once about baseball, and was called Bull Durham.
Baby Mama – Tina Fey wants to have a baby but she can’t, so she hires a surrogate and can’t find anyone better than Amy Poehler, who proceeds to- I kid you not- pee in the sink. What a strange and unexpected comedy trend.

Anyway, I was pretty pleased to get to the theatre this week and find that Cinema 3 was showing Definitely, Maybe; a film I wanted to see anyway. I like Ryan Reynolds’ work, I heard good things about the movie from friends, and it seemed like the kind of thing that a John Cusack/Nick Hornby fan like myself would like.

And indeed it is. But it also hit pretty close to home, since I am also a divorced father of one, with only a few significant relationships to speak of in my lifetime, and like Reynolds’ character Will, I sometimes find myself wondering what went wrong and when. My son is only 5, about half the age of Abigail Breslin’s precocious moppet, so watching Definitely, Maybe felt a little like a glimpse into both the future and the past.

Of course, the comparisons end there; Will’s relationships are with three pretty idealized women (Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, and Isla Fisher) whereas mine are/were with pretty much real women. And in any case, I am no Ryan Reynolds. I’m not even Will, which is a little depressing, but hey; it’s only a movie, right?

Yes and no. This is a really, really good movie, if you’re the kind of sentimental navel-gazing sap that I am, and if you identify with movies like High Fidelity, Say Anything, Gregory’s Girl, About A Boy, and so on. I usually describe these “guys’ movies” as being about men who are basically oblivious jerks to the women who love them, but in the end they grow up just a little bit and are ready for a real relationship.

So the experience of watching this film was mostly a pleasure, and a bit painful; but I’m very glad I saw it, and I am impressed with the cast as well as the work of writer/director Adam Brooks, who has brought his game up a notch after the Bridget Jones sequel and Wimbledon. The biggest revelations were Abigail Breslin, who I had not seen before; and Isla Fisher, who I am now officially in love with. Is nice!

All in all, this was the most emotional and unique evening in Cinema 3 yet, capped by the fact that just as the final scene began between Will and his soulmate, the movie screen went black and the fire alarm went off, and we were all evacuated. I feel reasonably sure that I know what would have happened, but would I see this film again? Definitely.

Recommended?: yes.
Credit cookie?: don’t know.
Crowd reaction at the end of the movie: don’t know.
For further consideration: most of the film is set in the early 90s, where Will works on the first Clinton presidential campaign. Imagine the talks Bill has had to have with Chelsea.
Opening next weekend: College Road Trip, 10000 BC, The Bank Job, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, CJ7
Please God, anything but: College Road Trip

About Scott M

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