Archetypal American Hilarity
Release Date: April 11, 2008
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Emily Mortimer,
Stuart Townsend, Sarah Chalke,
and Mike Erwin
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 87 minutes
Distributor: Castle Rock/Warner Bros.
Director: Marcos Siega
Executive Producer: Fred Westheimer
Producer: Frederic Golchan and Erica
Writer: Daniel Taplitz
Address Comments To:Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Ryan Reynolds plays Frank Allen, an efficiency expert who keeps a tight schedule. The movie opens at the wedding of his daughter. When the groom has second thoughts, Frank stops him and makes him listen to his own life story.
Cut to a New Year’s Eve party, where Susan decides that she wants to marry Frank rather than Frank’s best friend Buddy. Seven years later, Frank and Susan have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter, Jesse.
One morning, Susan tries to loosen her husband’s strict schedule by adding 10 minutes to his day. This, however, makes him late for an important speech. Still feeling completely out of kilter after his speech, Frank goes to the bar. He strikes up a conversation with a beautiful woman who attended his speech, then starts drinking too much, which causes him to spill out his frustrations. She convinces him to let her use the bathroom in his hotel room, where she tries to seduce him. At just that minute, Susan calls Frank and suspects some hanky panky. Frank escapes the girl’s attentions and rushes out the door.
On the way home, however, another car runs Frank off the road. In the car is a panicked woman about to give birth. Her car has been disabled by the near tragedy, so Frank rushes the woman to the hospital, where she gives birth.
When the unmarried woman abandons her baby, the hospital contacts Frank because the people there think Frank is the father. Susan thinks the pregnant woman was the woman in Frank’s hotel room. Angrily, she leaves Frank, taking Jesse with her. She won’t even let Frank explain himself.
A despondent Frank takes a DNA test to show that he’s not the father of the baby. Frank learns, however, that he cannot have any children at all. Thus, Jesse isn’t actually his daughter. Shocked by Susan’s actual apparent betrayal, Frank decides to live only in the moment and do things he would never normally consider. In fact, he takes the index cards that provided the structure of his previous life and scribbles on them spontaneous ideas, leaving his choices to random shuffles of the cards. The chaos of the cards leads Frank to dangerous life choices, especially when he discovers who the real biological father of his daughter is.
CHAOS THEORY is a delightful comedy of errors with some hilarious and ultimately very heartwarming moments. Best of all, the movie ultimately extols marriage, family commitment, and a more proper view of love. As such, it nearly represents an archetypal version of what a good American comedy can and should do. The content requires caution, however, because of significant foul language and the seduction scene where a woman strips to her underwear to seduce the protagonist. She fails because the protagonist actually loves his wife, but viewers won’t know that until the scene ends.
CHAOS THEORY is a delightful comedy of errors with some hilarious and very heartwarming moments. Best of all, the movie ultimately extols marriage, a more proper view of love, and family. The content requires caution, however, because of significant foul language and a seduction scene where a woman strips to her underwear to try to seduce the married protagonist. She fails because the protagonist loves his wife, but viewers won’t know that until the scene ends.