Definitely, Maybe parents guide

Definitely, Maybe Parent Guide

Overall D+

Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) is a dad with some tough questions to answer. In order to help his daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) understand why he is getting a divorce, he definitely needs to tell the precocious ten-year-old all about his life and former loves (Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher and Rachel Weisz). And maybe her youthful, uncluttered vision can help him see some solutions to his adult problems.

Release date February 13, 2008

Violence A-
Sexual Content C
Profanity C
Substance Use C-

Why is Definitely, Maybe rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Definitely, Maybe PG-13 for sexual content, including some frank dialogue, language and smoking.

Run Time: 112 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship knows it isn’t always easy. But no one makes romance look more painfully complicated than Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds). Whether he’s simply unlucky or certifiably challenged, this boyishly handsome New Yorker appears destined for life in the single lane. And after spending nearly two hours watching his on-again, off-again love life, audiences will be equally convinced of his dismal chance for success.

Since leaving his native Wisconsin and his high school sweetheart (Elizabeth Banks) to pursue a career in the pre-election campaign office of Bill Clinton, Will manages to pull off a spectacular fundraising event, start a consulting company with another intern (Derek Luke) and father a child. Yet the political wanna-be can’t maintain a healthy connection with a woman for any substantial time.

Now on the eve of his divorce, his daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) wants to hear the story of how he met her mom. Despite his initial apprehensions, Will finally agrees to fill her in on his former life. Sparing no details, but changing the names to add to the mystery, Will divulges the nitty-gritty facts about his past habits of smoking, frequent drinking and casual sexual encounters with numerous women. He also informs his daughter of her mother’s premarital activities.

Using a clipboard to keep notes, Maya tries to decide if her mom is the high school sweetheart who got left behind, the tough-minded journalist (Rachel Weisz) who cozied up with Will after being dumped by her grizzled thesis advisor (Kevin Kline) or the young Bohemian copy girl (Isla Fisher) from the campaign office.

Grilling her dad for all kinds of information, Maya, who has just had a sex education lesson at school, repeatedly uses anatomically correct terms during their discussions about how babies are made. But her graphic descriptions of the process aren’t the only conversations that may leave real parents feeling uncomfortable in front of their children. Will’s disclosures about experimental same sex relations, threesome activities and a professor who preys on undergrads seem like too much information even for the precocious preteen therapist who is more worried about her dad’s happiness than her parents impending break-up.

Wrapped up like a big, heart-shaped box of chocolates, this film has all the ingredients you’d expect in a Valentines Day release—gorgeous girls, serendipitous situations and a lovelorn hero in need of affection. But after watching these characters try to justify their half-hearted attempts at commitment and the pursuit of their own self-interests, this script definitely tastes more like the cheap, waxy knockoffs instead of a real chocolatier’s confection.

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release February 13, 2008. Updated

Definitely, Maybe
Rating & Content Info

Why is Definitely, Maybe rated PG-13? Definitely, Maybe is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual content, including some frank dialogue, language and smoking.

With the divorce papers on his desk, Will Hays is about to end yet another unsuccessful relationship. Detailing the events of his former life to his daughter Maya, he confesses his past sexual relationships to the youngster, using derogatory slang, descriptive terms and frank discussion about sexual activity and single parenthood. Maya repeatedly uses anatomically correct terminology to describe intercourse. Newscasts detailing Bill Clinton’s sexual activities in office are also shown. Frequent drinking at home and social gatherings are depicted along with drunken behavior. Main characters, as well as others, regularly use cigarettes although some negative comments are made about the habit. Profanities, vulgar expressions and some scatological slang are also included in the script.

Page last updated

More parents' guide for Definitely, Maybe after the break...

Definitely, Maybe Parents' Guide

Despite the fact that her parents are breaking up, Maya appears to be more concerned with her father’s happiness. What is she learning about long-term relationships? In what ways is she playing the parent role for her dad? How do you think she feels about her mom’s happiness?

Does Will divulge too many details about his former relationships? Is there a limit to what parents should tell their children about their past? When can it be helpful and harmful to share that information?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Definitely, Maybe movie is June 24, 2008. Here are some details…

Definitely, Maybe is for sure releasing to DVD in widescreen and full frame presentations. Both versions offer the following bonus materials: an audio commentary with director Adam Brooks and actor Ryan Reynolds, deleted scenes and two featurettes (Creating a Romance: Brought to You Buy Volkswagen and The Changing Times of Definitely, Maybe). Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French and Spanish), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

Related home video titles:

In No Reservations, Abigail Breslin plays an orphaned child who helps her unattached aunt find love at the restaurant. A young woman’s engagement to one of the city’s most eligible bachelors is thwarted when her estranged husband refuses to give her a divorce in Sweet Home Alabama.