Can a real life bachelor (Ryan Reynolds, National Lampoon's Van Wilder) who looks good with his shirt off (or so I've heard) and is most noted for his role as a college-aged wisenheimer really pull off a part in a romantic comedy as a convincing father figure? Well, if the producers are smart enough to cast an absolutely adorable Oscar-nominated little girl (Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine) as his offspring, then the answer is yes, he can.
When Maya Hayes (Breslin) gets a surprise lesson in sex education at her elementary school, she has many questions for her dad, Will (Reynolds). To appease her, Will tells the long and sordid story of the three major loves of his life and how he finally ended up with Maya's mother, whom he is currently divorcing. He changes the names in the story and dares Maya to guess which one of the three loves is really her mom.
The movie is not overly funny, but doesn't have too many lulls either. Reynolds and Breslin, as well as the triumvirate of love interests (Elizabeth Banks, Rachael Weisz and Isla Fisher) all bring interesting flares to their roles. Plus, Kevin Kline cameos as an eccentric author vaguely reminiscent of his turn in Sophie's Choice.
Mostly because of Maya but also due to the interesting relationships Will develops, this movie has a decently high "cute" factor. It isn't the most straightforward romance, but it ought to do you well enough on date night.
This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.