Definitely, Maybe (2008)
by Tyler Woolson
Yep, you guessed it; it’s me Tyler on this track. Reason being that Joshua had alluded to watching “Definitely Maybe” as his next film for the website, but I insisted on writing this one because there is no way that he truly understands this film the way I (and you soon) do. You see this film is complex in its simplicity and filled with other oxymoronic hyperboles that a Film School grad cannot appreciate…however a Film Minor haver can (I’ll have a business card for that soon).
“Definitely Maybe” came on Cinemax this evening at 9pm CST which presented an excellent opportunity for reviewing the film for this article. BUT, I have missed the last six episodes of The Office and started watching them on Hulu at about eight o’clock. The significance of this event is two-fold; the first being that OnDemand is awesome; allowing me the best of both worlds, and the second will follow shortly. As is, its 11:05pm and I’m betting that I’m the only single 29 year-old male sitting in a recliner with a pinch of Copenhagen in who is watching this movie OnDemand and actually blogging about it. My beer of choice for this movie is of course Budweiser, but my roommates drank all mine this weekend so I’m stuck with two cans of dip, some watered down blue Powerade from the super-sized double cheeseburger value meal I had for dinner, and yes I also ordered a spicy mc-chicken for good measure.
Before I blow your mind with the true meaning of the film, let’s go over the basics. The film is a retrospective of Will Hayes’ (played by Reynolds) love life as told by him to his daughter Maya (girl from “Little Miss Sunshine”). Maya had gone through sexual education in school that day, prompting her to ask her dad the story about how he met her mother. If you’ve never heard a child say the words thrust, penis, and vagina in the same sentence, you’re probably better off, but provides for some laughs similar to hearing old people rap (see “Wedding Singer”). This is where the unseen complexity begins. If you made it through 6th grade than you know what the three-act structure is: Intro, setting, call to action/quest, pursuit, challenge/achievement, resolution, and conclusion. “Definitely Maybe” incorporates this in a broader sense, having each act serve as a three-act within itself, while being narrated by the protagonist who at times also serves as the chorus keeping the story in line, creating a unique storytelling device. This is Shakespearean sh!!t right here, and that’s where the chickflickiness ends! Yeah, you heard me (sorry Joshua) THIS IS NOT A CHICK FLICK!
“I don’t think anyone ever imagines that their wedding day they’ll be part of the 46% that doesn’t end up living happily ever after…then again I never thought I’d spend my days weeks and years working at an advertising agency trying to figure out how to get kids to eat Captain Crunch instead of Fruit Loops.” These are the first words spoken by Reynolds (as the narrator) and set the entire tone of the movie. This film serves as an opus for all men in their late 20’s and early 30’s, married or unmarried, employed or unemployed. You see it’s really about our failed dreams, past relationships, binge drinking, and sex with multiple partners; and I don’t care who you are, if you’re married, happily or miserably, in a relationship or single, successful or losery, or sitting naked in a kiddie pool, EVERY last one of us tells this story in our head more than we will ever admit. If anything this movie is anti-chick. Women are responsible for every setback Will experiences in the movie, even beyond the heartbreak. While working on the Clinton campaign the mistress issue becomes very prevalent, eventually leading to his ultimate breakdown and loss of respect for President Clinton, and more significantly throwing away his dream of being president. No guy has ever noticed this, probably due to the fact that they were focused on getting some HJ action from the woman who forced them to watch it. Hell, Isla Fisher is the female lead and she is hot as shit. Not just based on looks, but also because she’s married to one of the most genius comedy minds of all-time, Sasha Baron Cohen (Ali G for the layperson). Ladies, this is what men want: Hot-a$$ chick with a banging body with a sense of humor that rivals their own, complete with a little gypsy soul (I’ll concede that maybe not all men like that, but they wouldn’t be on this website and are not as cool as me and my friends) and a non-dream destroyer.
Now back to the significance of my watching The Office earlier this evening. Michael Scott, although in different ways, displays the same characteristics that Will Hayes and almost all men do. First, an almost blind optimism regardless of circumstance, Second, an artificial sense of confidence and strength, Third, a sensitive and sentimental disposition, Fourth, a wry sense of humor and physique that is not befitting of the character. The quote “Maybe you should go to life rehab” could have easily been said by either character, and definitely maybe by every man to a woman (under our breath usually).
Well as the movie ends and my dip cans are empty (I’m enjoying a Skoal/Copenhagen hybrid made famous by Jeremy Carter) I will bring this to a close and make a few concessions in the process. The movie does have a happy ending, tells a decent love story, and focuses on true love not just between man and woman, but also father and daughter; all of which are chick flick devices. Other notes of importance are a great soundtrack, no nudity (big let down), penguins, unrealistic social circles (politically correct), and random classic literature references. All in all it’s a great film and I’m not afraid to say it, hell I’ve watched it at least 15 times. I urge you to revisit this film after reading this because you will see it in a whole new light, and for the dudes out there you can rent it to look all sensitive to your lady and probably get at least an HJ. If I had to classify it, and I do, it’s a “Biblical, Shakespearean D!ck-flick for chicks” and you can quote me on that.
FORCE THE BOYFRIEND: 8 out of 10 (This isn't a chick flick!)
Beer Pairing Recommendation
For more on Definitely, Maybe - visit IMDB