by Laura Tucker
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This hopeless romantic wasn’t going to not figure out the “love story mystery” of the film Definitely, Maybe. The young girl in the film may have been inexperienced at such matters and not been able to figure it out, but I knew. I knew throughout the whole film how this one was going to turn out, not that that ruined it for me, as it actually enhanced my enjoyment. Especially at the end, as I was able to eek out a few tears, and say, “I knew it.”
Abigail Breslin who had turned in such an amazing performance in Little Miss Sunshine does it again. There is just something about this young girl that in some aspects makes her seem much older than she is. Despite everything that has come to her at such a young age, she doesn’t seem to have an ounce of precociousness in her.
Breslin stars as Maya Hayes, the young daughter of parents that are about to be divorced. Her father, Will (Ryan Reynolds), picks her up from school on one of his appointed days, and she shares with him that they had sex education in school that day. With this increased knowledge, she wants to know why people have sex when they aren’t intending to have children, and her dad tells her they are “practicing.” Learning that he practiced with a number of different women, Maya asks her dad what the boy word for “slut” is.
Like every young girl, Maya wants a storybook romance for her parents, and she can’t figure out how the story could start out so well, but end so terribly, for her at least, as her parents now prepare for their divorce. She wants to know how they fell in love, and badgering her father enough, he eventually caves and tells her he will tell her the story of the three different women he fell in love with, and changing the names, it will be up to Maya to figure out which one of them is her mother. She likes the idea, as it’s like a “love story mystery.”
While Will starts telling Maya the story in her bedroom at night with her all comfy in her bed, positions, places, and times change often before he is done. He tells the story of himself as a young man and changes the names of his three love interests, so she can’t tell which is her mom. He leaves one woman behind in Madison, Wisconsin, as he moves to New York to work on the ‘92 campaign of Bill Clinton. He thinks he’ll be a famous speechwriter, but instead becomes the guy Friday, making his big entrance into the big world of politics carrying an armload of toilet paper. He also dates another writer and befriends the copy girl at the Clinton campaign office.
Throughout this “love story mystery,” there are many twists and turns in Will’s relationships with the women, so Maya starts to cross them off the list for the possibility of being her mother, but things happen making her add them back on. This little girl was fooled, but an old hopeless romantic like myself wasn’t. I knew where it was going. I saw a few little details that she missed, and I knew where they would pop up again and when, and I was right.
Yet, despite knowing the answer to the “love story mystery,” it was nonetheless a good film. It’s helped tremendously by the talents of Abigail Breslin, and a unique well-written story. The perfect romantic comedy, it has enough well-delivered laughs to to sustain you while you watch the love stories develop. Those of us that watch this genre of film watch for the perfect ending, as does Maya. In the end, her father tries to tell her she is his perfect ending. Regardless of the fact that his marriage is ending, he still has her. The question left at this point, is if there will be yet another perfect ending, and the hopeless romantic in me knew the answer.
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