Okay, I know I have been on kind of an anti-chick-flick tear here. I make no secret of the fact that I am not in love with the genre. But, as these these things go, Definitely, Maybe isn’t bad.
First of all, Ryan Reynolds is: (1) attractive, (2) funny, and therefore (3) a compelling love interest. Nothing kills a romantic comedy’s appeal quicker than unattractive/annoying main characters or implausible chemistry between the would-be lovers.
And the female characters are great too. Not only does Reynolds have believable chemistry with each of them, but they are each smart and beautiful so that the audience can be in love with them as well. And isn’t that why we go to these movies? To escape, live vicariously, fall in love with love all over again, if only for an hour or two?
Actually, the three women, and his complicated, at times overlapping, relationships with each of them, made for the most interesting part of the movie. To overgeneralize, the three women each fall into a category: (1) the “perfect on paper” girl (conventionally pretty, All-American, easy to get along with, bright and fun, but not overbearingly intellectual or crazy); (2) the “bad girl, seductress” (fun and exciting and naughty, unavailable (both relationship-wise and emotionally), brilliant intellectually and professionally, impulsive, seductive, foreign, bound to hurt you but you keep coming back for more); and (3) the “cute, fun, ‘best-friend'” type (she’s the one you talk about the other girls with, she’s cute, but a buddy, so you take her for granted, she’s kind of a mix between girls one and three, a little bit perfect, but a little bit crazy, and just a teensy bit naughty (enough to keep things exciting)). Predictable (but not annoyingly predictable) drama ensues. Who does he end up with? You’ll have to watch and see.
The tale unfolds via a marathon bedtime story, as delivered by soon-to-be-divorcing dad, Ryan Reynolds, to his probably 10 or so year old daughter, the cute but also bit much girl from Little Miss Sunshine. You’ll have to suspend reality a little bit as he reveals to her that he used to (a) smoke, (b) drink like a fish, and (c) sleep with anything in a skirt (she, his daughter, even calls him a slut at one point, which is both accurate, based on his description, and disturbing, particularly because he doesn’t scold her or tell her not to talk that way. If I had a ten-year-old, and she called me a slut, I don’t think I would be quite so nonplussed).
Also, it is in New York, shot on location.
Also, there are political elements which are kind of (now) timely, and (still) funny.
Also, there are some really good kissing scenes, which I do love, and always will.
All right, so I liked this one, sort of in spite of myself. To the ladies, I would definitely recommend it. To the guys, if your lady wants to watch it, don’t put up too much of a fight. It’s pretty good, as these things go.
I would welcome any other thoughts/perspectives.