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Mar 6

movie log: Definitely, Maybe (2008)

Posted on Friday, March 6, 2009 in movies

Seen February 28, 2009: Definitely, Maybe directed by Adam Brooks, starring Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, Isla Fisher, and a bunch of others.

This is a light romantic movie with a contrived plot that immediately makes one think of the TV series “How I Met Your Mother.” The movie begins with Will Hayes (Reynolds) about to be divorced from his wife. His precocious daughter Maya (Breslin) is full of questions: don’t you love her? how can you get divorced? Will tells her that in order to understand, she’d have to know the story of how he met three women, one of whom was the mother. And he’ll tell her the story, but she’ll have to try to figure out which one he ended up marrying. The bulk of the movie follows this story as he tells it.

And it’s an OK story, even if one can’t believe he’s telling it to his daughter (nor in the detail that we see, although by her reactions we’re led to believe that this detail is included in his telling of it). The three women are played by Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, and Isla Fisher, and there are good performances by others including Adam Ferrara and Kevin Kline.

My biggest reaction to this film was that it’s great to see Ryan Reynolds get a decent role in a decent movie. Why an old geezer like me here in the wilds of NH has any interest in seeing a particular actor do well is probably a good question, but I’ve always rooted for Reynolds; let’s hope there’s more to come. The movie is very watchable, although I’m not sure I’m exactly the target audience. I didn’t really buy the premise or the specifics of the conversation between father and daughter, or other stuff between them that I won’t get into, but I just put that aside. There’s no deep meaning or lasting effect to be had here, just a couple of entertaining hours.

Mar 6

movie log: Leap Year (1921)

Posted on Friday, March 6, 2009 in movies

Viewed February 27, 2009: Leap Year directed by James Cruze and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, staring Fatty Arbuckle and a host of others.

This is approximately an hour-long feature with Arbuckle playing Stanley Piper, the nephew of and heir to an irascible old coot, and thus viewed in universe of this film as a rare catch for the ladies. As the film opens, Stanley has taken a shine to his uncle’s nurse, but he has a hard time telling her this for various reasons (for one, he has a nervous stutter that keeps him from expressing his complete thoughts). Coincidentally the misogynist uncle decides he’d rather have a male nurse and fires this one. The uncle goes off to a spa in hopes of healing his gout, while Stanley takes a trip to Catalina. As the movie progresses, Stanley meets one beautiful woman after another, and tries to cozy up to each in turn in order to get advice about approaching the nurse (remember her?). Due to his nervousness and stutter, each woman thinks that he’s trying to confess his love to her and, because he’s such prime husband material, immediately accepts his alleged offer of marriage.

They all – Stanley, his uncle, the nurse, all of these other woman, each man that has an interest in each woman – end up back at the uncle’s house, where great farcical maneuvers ensue.

This really is quite a funny old movie, and it moves along at a good clip. Then again I’ve never really seen a Fatty Arbuckle movie that I didn’t enjoy.