I got the hell out of Dodge — i.e., Park City — yesterday afternoon at 5:30 pm, slept a few hours, piddled around and then drove early this afternoon to rain-soaked Santa Barbara. Cats and dogs, cats and dogs…and I didn’t bring an umbrella. Flu gone, cough lingering…and the solution to all woes and precipitations is to hike eight or nine blocks in this scatalogical downpour from the Santa Barbara Hotel upto the Arlington theatre for the SBFF’s opening-night presentation: Adam Brooks‘ Definitely, Maybe (Universal, 2.14).
Snapped somewhere within Santa Barbara’s city limits
Maybe but Most Likely Not is my honest response as I sit in my hotel room at 6:20 pm. (The film will begin a little after 8 pm.)
I’ve been told that Definitely Maybe, a romantic whatever that costars Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Derek Luke, Elizabeth Banks and Rachel Weisz, is surprisingly okay. But how to ignore the fact that the director is Adam Brooks, the man who gave us Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason? And Wimbledon? (I never saw The Invisible Circus.)
Would you want to go outside and slosh around and get your feet wet and maybe usher in a return of the viral furies in order to see a Valentine’s Day attraction aimed at the girls who move their lips as they read…not Jane, which went out of business last summer….what glossy monthlies do smug, self-absorbed young women read these days?
The press kit synopsis states that Reynolds’ character, a 30-something Mahattan dad in the midst of a divorce named Will, is surprised when his 10 year-old daughter, Maya (Breslin), starts to question him about his life before marriage. Maya wants to know absolutely everything about how her parents met and fell in love.” Fine so far, but wait…where’s mom? Why hasn’t she had similar previous conversations with Maya? Who is mom? Is she dead? The press kit won’t say.
Beginning with his arrival in New York in 1992 to work on “the” presidential campaign (the press kit doesn’t hint at political leanings), Will “recounts the history of his romantic relationships with three very different women.”
He “hopelessly attempts a gentler version of his story for his daughter and changes the names so Maya has to guess who is the woman her dad finally married,” the press kit says. What? Maya is 10 years old, Will is in the midst of a divorce (presumably from one of the “three very different women”), and he’s kept his soon-to-be-ex-wife’s identity a secret from their own daughter? I could ask all kinds of inane questions, but one of the following is certain: Definitely, Maybe has a revoltingly coy premise/plot, or the Universal press-kit writer is making it sound that way.
Yeah, yeah: get out the galoshes and the raincoat and go see the damn thing.