Monday, August 11, 2008

Definitely, Maybe

2008, US, directed by Adam Brooks

Adam Brooks also penned the screenplay for the dreadful Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (this must be Adam Brooks month for me); Definitely, Maybe might not win many awards, but it is, thankfully, a huge improvement on the earlier film. For a start, there's something approaching a coherent story, there's a real sense of place and time, and while Brooks doesn't do anything too radical, at least the film has the guts not to follow the easiest possible road as it ties up its loose ends.

I confess I was frequently nonplussed by the central storyline in which a father (Ryan Reynolds) tells the sanitized story of his past to his daughter (Abigail Breslin) as he prepares to finalize his divorce from her mother, perhaps the result of missing a key few seconds at the beginning, but Reynolds is charming enough to distract from the silliness of the set-up, and there's some decent support, particularly from Kevin Kline, enjoying himself as a roué. The unusual backdrop to his youthful romances - the 1992 Clinton campaign - is surprisingly effective, too, recalling a very different political moment but also depicting the erosion of youthful ideals.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States