Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Night of the Chick Flicks

I spent the other night watching two chick flicks: Elizabethtown and Definitely, Maybe. Both were cute, and both were better than I expected.

I can't watch these with Mike, you see, because I made a promise to never make him watch formulaic chick flicks, and I am an awesome girlfriend, you see. Besides, he had his own night planned, and I was looking forward to popcorn and my comfy couch. I'm rarely at my own place anymore as it is.

I started with Elizabethtown, because of the two, I expected it to be the weaker. It was, but still mostly enjoyable. Drew (Orlando Bloom), a recently fired shoe company exec who is single-handedly responsible for a billion plus loss for his company because of a horribly designed shoe. On top of his severe depression, he faces a trip to Louisville to deal with his father's funeral arrangements, as he has passed away while on vacation to his hometown.

While on a plane upon which he is the only passenger, he meets Claire (Kirsten Dunst) a flight attendant who was forced to fly the red-eye. Most of the movie spans their early get-to-know-you routine and examines Drew's relationship with his father's family - a family he never really knew because of some kind of disagreement between them and Drew's mother. I don't remember it being that important, but maybe I was focusing on Claire's adorable wardrobe and waiting for their inevitable first kiss.

I actually appreciated the plot because it was fairly simple and pretty believable. Drew and Claire's relationship begins to bloom over a long telephone conversation and while we learn cute little stories about each of them, we also start to see why they were meant to be together. She's optimistic and upbeat, and he needs a little saving. Cliche, perhaps, but sweetly choreographed and very much appreciated. Oh, and Susan Sarandon's bit part as Drew's mother is pretty funny.

Elizabethtown won't (and didn't) win any awards, but it's a nice little distraction of a movie.

Definitely, Maybe, another romantic comedy, was also a bit formulaic, but a really pleasant surprise. I love Ryan Reynolds, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I know that people see him and only see Van Wilder, but I can recognize that there is something else there. He has rare comedic timing, great delivery, and .02% body fat. He's nice to look at.

Will Hayes (Reynolds) is at the tail end of his divorce, and however amicable it may be, he's upset. Luckily, his daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin, on an acting high since her brilliant turn in Little Miss Sunshine) is extremely understanding and accepting of the developments and only wants her dad to be happy. Precocious and intelligent (aren't they always?), she begs her dad to weave her the tale of how he met her mother. Not far into the tale, it's clear that her mother could have been one of three women: Emily (Elizabeth Banks), Summer (Rachel Weisz), or April (Isla Fisher).

Cleverly executed, Definitely, Maybe is sweetly written and worth a watch on girls' night. The writing makes it a little tricky to discover who "mom" is, but that's not what the viewer is concerned with: we want to know who Will eventaully ends up with.

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