"Not the Family Movie It’s Marketed To Be"
DEFINITELY, MAYBE is a not-so-family friendly romantic comedy movie about a thirtysomething divorced Manhattan father, Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds), who recounts his relationship history with various women to his 10-year-old daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin).
On Will’s day to pick up his daughter from school, he enters to the sound of hundreds of elementary school children yelling in a panic at their parents because they just sat through their first sex education class. Will’s wide-eyed daughter Maya walks up to him and says, “We have to talk.” That evening, Maya grills Will about his past relationships and how Will and Maya’s mother originally met and fell in love. Will tells her that it is a complicated story. Maya, defiant, demands to hear the tale.
So, Will warns Maya that he will recount all of the details of his various, complicated relationships to her. However, he also says that he is going to change the names of all the people involved and that Maya is going to have to guess who her mother is in his story. Maya loves the idea of a romance-mystery, so Will takes her back to the beginning when he was just a young college kid working with the Young Democrats of America on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.
Will’s relationship tale weaves together the three women, Emily (Elizabeth Banks), Summer (Rachel Weisz) and April (Isla Fisher), who have all had major impact in his life. As Will lays out the story, Maya not only has to unravel the mystery of who her mother is, but also she comes to realize that “love” is more complicated than she thought.
As far as the quality of the movie, DEFINITELY, MAYBE is a very well written story with fun twists and turns as well as engaging characters, the chief of which is the adorable Abigail Breslin as Maya. The movie has several laugh-out-loud moments and some tear-jerking moments. It is, by industry standards, a great movie.
The movie is being billed and marketed as a heart-warming and family-friendly tale of the relationship between a father and his daughter. However, DEFINITELY, MAYBE is not family-friendly. The marketing campaign is deceptive and misleading, and some audience members may be upset when they realize they have been duped into seeing a liberal, anti-capitalist, politically correct diatribe that promotes a Romantic worldview. Thus, the movie shows traditional marriage in a negative light as a “capitalist consumer agenda” that is destined to fail and falls far short of the rewarding emotional “love” found in illicit relationships and hedonistic lifestyles.
The movie is also ruined by strong sexual content, including several couples that live together out of wedlock and implied fornication. There is also homosexual content where a women recounts a lesbian experience she had in college. The movie also shows the results of elementary-aged school children who are being taught sex education in the public schools. The sequence, although handled in a comedic way, still has 10-year-old children using graphic language about what they just learned in class. Also, the movie is somewhat tragic because it does illustrate how divorce destroys relationships, including the children who are torn between their parents.
All in all, DEFINITELY, MAYBE is definitely not the type of moral movie that media-wise people of faith and values would enjoy. Instead, audiences may enjoy renting other movies such as Walt Disney’s THE GAME PLAN, which is a great tale of a father and his daughter that has a much more redemptive worldview. You can find more about this movie and other family-friendly fare with a special Internet Archive subscription at www.movieguide.org
(RoRo, Pa, PCPC, Fe, Acap, Co, Ho, LL, V, SS, N, AA, DD, MM) Strong Romantic, yet immoral and pagan, worldview dealing with physical and emotional love outside of marriage as the height of the human experience, also with strong politically correct elements as elementary school children (10-year-olds) are taught sex education at school with some very graphic descriptions, left-wing political elements as main character’s story is set against the backdrop of working for the Young Democrats of America who helped Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign that includes politically correct conversations as well as statements about civil rights for African Americans and feminism for women to do what they want with their own bodies, negative comments about George W. Bush before he was president, some video footage of Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinski confessing to illicit relationships with former President Bill Clinton, anti-capitalist statement with Communist implications about marriage as a “capitalist, consumer agenda,” and homosexual elements as woman’s diary reveals that she had a lesbian experience in college; 13 obscenities and six light profanities; one instance of violence as man is slapped by woman; strong sexual content includes sex education class at public school for 10-year-olds where children leave the classroom using very descriptive dialogue about sexuality and human anatomy, although most children are freaking out to their parents about the information, man carries on several illicit relationships, implied fornication, several unmarried couples living together, woman admits to sleeping with man’s roommate, woman admits to homosexual experience in college, 10-year-old girl calls her dad a “male slut,” quick talk of group sex, frank discussions about former President Bill Clinton’s adulterous affairs, several scenes of unmarried kissing, and discussions of college professor’s illicit relationships with his students; upper male nudity; alcohol depicted in several parties from beer to wine to hard liquor and some drunkenness depicted; cigarette smoking depicted in several scenes and character mentions that marijuana use should be legalized; and, lying, cheating, couple bets on which cigarettes burn faster, littering, video footage of former President Bill Clinton lying under oath, and a negative view of traditional marriage.
DEFINITELY, MAYBE is a not-so-family friendly romantic comedy about the romances of a thirtysomething divorced Manhattan father, Will Hayes, played by Ryan Reynolds. On Will’s day to pick up his daughter from school, hundreds of elementary school children are yelling in a panic at their parents because they just sat through their first sex education class. Will’s wide-eyed daughter Maya walks up to him and says, “We have to talk.” That evening, Maya grills Will about his past relationships. Will takes her back to the beginning when he was just a young college student working with the Young Democrats of America on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. He changes the names of the three women involved so that Maya has to guess which one is her mother.
DEFINITELY, MAYBE is a well written story with fun twists and turns as well as engaging characters, the chief of which is the adorable Abigail Breslin as Maya. The movie has several laugh-out-loud moments and some tear-jerking moments, but it is not a family-friendly movie. For example, the story contains frank sexual references and advocates an immoral, politically correct Romantic worldview that attacks traditional marriage.