Sometimes I get to thinking that the whole romantic comedy genre could use a good shake-up to get out of the hole that movies like Fool’s Gold keep digging the genre into.
Sometimes I get to thinking that the whole romantic comedy genre could use a good shake-up to get out of the hole that movies like Fool’s Gold keep digging the genre into. Rom-coms with smart, secure yet interesting female characters would be one way to do this. Stories with a likable male protagonist who’s neither misogynistic nor a total weenie would be another good way. Definitely, Maybe actually manages to achieve both these things, and it’s truly a relief to see.
Somehow, the movie hits a sweet balance between completely adorable and realistic. There are a few cheesy moments and some genuinely funny parts, but the real reason the movie succeeds is due to the well-drawn, well-developed characters, each of whom I found myself liking and rooting for. Ryan Reynolds charmingly plays Will, whose young daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ divorce. She begs her father to tell her the story of his relationship with his mother: why they fell in love, etc. Reluctant, Will decides instead to tell her the stories of three women from his past, and Maya can guess which one ended up being her mother.
This sets up a fun storytelling structure: alternating between Will’s sweet, funny tales of romance — though some of them are so true-to-life it makes me cringe — we come back to little Maya and her spunky commentary. Sure, sometimes she’s sort of annoying, but it’s also cute and refreshing to get her take on things. She contemplates which of these three different women could be her mother: the kind, gentle Emily (Elizabeth Banks), the sassy and fun-loving April (Isla Fischer) or the fiercely independent and intellectual Summer (Rachel Weisz). There's more to the movie than just this, though, so read more