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Manhattan advertising executive Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds), who is about to get divorced, is taken aback when his 10 year old daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) starts asking prying questions about his love life before he married her mother. Telling Maya she will have to guess who he married, Will tells the story about the three young women he was dating years ago, but changes the names. From his hometown in Wisconsin, there's Will's college sweetheart Emily (Elisabeth Banks), his friend and colleague April (Isla Fisher) and ambitious journalist, Summer (Rachel Weisz). As Will tells Maya how things evolved, she realizes that there is nothing straightforward when it comes to love.

Review by Louise Keller:
As a screen writer, Adam Brooks has penned some beauties including Wimbledon, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Practical Magic and French Kiss. Perhaps that is why I feel a little let down by this latest work, despite a clever construct and strong performances from Isla Fisher and Rachel Weisz. If you're expecting another Notting Hill or Love Actually, you'll be disappointed. The premise has appeal and the best part of the film is the intelligent way two of the three relationships are described. But the love merry-go-round keeps turning too many times and the film's resolution is plain stupid.

The skill of Brooks' screenplay is that we are kept on tender-hooks throughout the entire film, waiting to find out who is the girl that Ryan Reynolds' Will chooses. Fisher's April and Weisz's Summer are the two characters that have been fleshed out the best and we feel as though we know them well. We like April immediately: she is uncomplicated, honest, playful and good fun. When Will is about to propose to another girl, it is April who suggests he practices his proposal on her. Fisher is lovely and it is easy to understand her attraction. Weisz plays the free-spirited Summer with ease and we can tell from her relationship with Kevin Kline's grumpy, alcohol-loving writer, she has an ultra casual approach to relationships. The fact that Elisabeth Banks' Emily is the least developed of the three women, results in our not knowing or caring about her.

Reynolds has good screen presence, and it is thanks to good writing that Will's relationship with his daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) is credible. Just as well, because Will's personality as a would-be lover is less than credible and after nearly two hours, we find ourselves wondering whether we really care about the outcome of his romantic interludes. Also, it is hard to believe that a young girl would have no idea how her parents met or know her mother's background. It is a shame, because it makes this likeable exploration of relationships fall short.

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(US, 2008)

CAST: Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, Abigail Breslin, Kevin Kline, Kevin Corrigan, Derek Luke

PRODUCER: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner

DIRECTOR: Adam Brooks

SCRIPT: Adam Brooks


EDITOR: Peter Teschner

MUSIC: Clint Mansell

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Stephanie Carroll

RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 14, 2008

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