Definitely, Maybe

Year: 2008
Studio: Universal
Director: Adam Brooks
Producer: Tim Bevan/Eric Fellner
Writer: Adam Brooks
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Abagail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz, Derek Luke, Kevin Kline
It's a classic set-up for a bland, generic rom-com. Modern, loving Dad Will (Reynolds) is putting his daughter to bed and she suddenly wants to know the story of his past girlfriends using fake names so she can work out which one's her mother. At first I didn't really get this aspect, I thought the cute kid (Little Miss Sunshine's Breslin) really didn't know who her mother was and was trying to guess from the clues in the story.

So Will tells the story of the three women he's loved in his life, different stories about very different people who aren't caricatures, and that's the first refreshing part.

The other is that this film has a real sense of romantic charm, not just of pretty kids falling in love. Part of it's the loving homage to New York, but most of it's an indie sensibility (thanks no doubt to the presence of Working Title heads Fellner and Bevan as producers) because of at least three actors (Fisher, Weisz and Reynolds) who can do much better that the romantic comedy rubbish we're usually subject to.

It could have been episodic and it could have been about cardboard cut-out characters, but everyone involved is fully fleshed out and it's all woven through a carefully constructed plot that's believable. It's not a terribly exciting idea, but it achieves what it sets out to do very well.

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