Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Definitely, Maybe

A while back, I saw the movie Definitely, Maybe on television.  The film is a father’s recount, on the eve of their divorce, of how he came to marry his daughter’s mother.

Up until the ending, the movie had a lot going for it, from the trauma of public school sex-ed to a double-edged take on the Clinton administration.  But while the movie made motions at showing the pain of divorce on children, it ultimately dodged it:  the daughter “just wants her father to be happy” as he tries to reignite an old flame.  Sorry, but 11 year olds don’t really think that way.  And while the film’s refusal to have the parents get back together at the end of the movie may be more authentic, it wasn’t really consistent with the film’s lighthearted comedic tone.

Oddly, while the daughter (played by the delightful Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Sunshine) calls her father a “slut” for having had girlfriends other than her mother, the mother herself escapes similar criticism for cheating on daddy during their engagement!  But then, the movie strains to avoid being judgmental to the point of absurdity.  We never do learn why this couple just decide to dissolve their marriage.

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