Everyone is from a city called Hope, and hope is where the heart is. It sounds corny, I know, but everyone needs a little corny sometimes. Definitely, Maybe is that corny. The film itself is not corny as in lame or uncreative. The film is corny as in sentimentally hokey, the basic foundation for any classic romantic comedy and just in time for Valentine’s Day!
When his young daughter learns the truths about sexual activity in a school class and becomes interested in the story of how daddy met mommy, soon-to-be-divorced Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) becomes backed into a corner. After much deliberation, Will finally gives in to her and tells the story to his daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin). His story revolves around love, politics, and ultimately the pursuit of happiness. Starting with the Clinton Campaign in 1992, Will relives his past as an ambitious young man learning the ins and outs of big time politics and the history of his romantic relationships with three very different women. He tells his story in a much softer interpretation for his daughter changing the names so Maya has to guess who the woman is her father finally marries. As the story goes along, Maya tries to put the pieces together to determine which of the three women is her mother. She determines from the story that love is not as easy as she thought, and helps her father understand that it is never too late to look for lost happiness.
After dominating comedies (National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, Waiting…), action (Blade Trinity), and horror (The Amityville Horror), Ryan Reynolds brings his diverse acting skills to the film genre of romantic comedy. Being so versatile as an actor with no role seeming to faze him, Reynolds shows no ill-effect of being a rookie to the genre. With no kids of his own, Reynolds plays a convincing father-figure being witty, affectionate, and willing to open up. His on-screen daughter, Abagail Breslin, is quick-witted and is quick to warm to, comparable to her character in Little Miss Sunshine.
The three women, played by Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, and Rachel Weisz, are each different from the other with each bringing their own unique element to the film. The women each have more than one layer providing the audience with different aspects of the characters. The audience will enjoy the romantic challenge of trying to determine which of the three women is Maya’s mother.
We also receive a surprise appearance from Kevin Kline as the often drunk Hampton Roth. Seems like I haven’t seen him since Wild Wild West.
Don’t let the sight of Abagail Breslin confuse you. With a rating of PG-13 for sexual content, language, and smoking, this film is no place for children under the age of 13. This film is a perfect example of a “chick flick” which is perfect for a first date, a sunny afternoon, or in my case, a wonderful Valentine’s Day film.