Review: Maybe I Do

Written and directed by Michael Jacobs, with their relationship at a crossroads, Michelle and Allen invite their parents to finally meet. As it turns out, their parents already know each other, maybe a little too well. Starring: Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey and William H. Macy.

Based off the synopsis, trailer and that Maybe I Do comes from the creator of Boy Meets World and Charles in Charge, it’s exactly the film you’d expect it to be. In some ways that’s good and in others you’ll want to roll your eyes as you wonder whether it’s actually trying to be a parody of itself, which it doesn’t seem to be. It hits some intensely stereotypical notes, starting with the classic coincidence and going through to its over the top moments. It is still enjoyable but the story is extremely thin, building to its pivotal moment then blasting right through it. There’s also not a lot of comedy at work, the potential is there, the cast could do it in their sleep but it’s disappointingly sporadic. The problem is that it’s so predictable that the humour can’t take you off guard, you can see it all coming from a mile away.

To a certain extent, it feels rushed, as if it’s taken a shortcut and just hitting the highlights of a longer story. It’s taking the path of least resistance to explore these three relationships, and again they are enjoyable to watch but it can only go so far without having anything unexpected to bring to the table. It’s really a shame as it’s a fantastic line up, Diane Keaton brings her reliable, charming, slightly neurotic and kind persona. Susan Sarandon goes into chaos mode, she’s a tornado of a woman and it’s great to see her do more antagonistic roles. Luke Bracey and Richard Gere are stuck with slightly cut and paste characters but Emma Roberts and William H. Macy bring more to the mix. Macy in particular has a little extra bite in moments, which are a genuine highlight, and Roberts is just as endearing and confident as ever.

At times, it genuinely does feel like it’s taking a dig at itself and how cheesy romcoms can be, especially with its choice of music. Then as it continually makes cliched, saccharine choices, it’s hard to believe it’s actually intended to be that self aware. The tone is overly bubbly and perky, it tries to be a bit cheeky but overall, it’s just giving you exactly what you’ll have seen fifty times before. Although in classic romcom fashion, it does have a particularly well decorated house, which when the film stars Keaton, feels like a nice nod to Nancy Meyers. Otherwise the direction and aesthetic are right inside the box.

Maybe I Do is exactly what you think it is, there are no surprises so if you’re a fan of cheesy romcoms then this is for you, if you’re not then it won’t have much to offer. It’s yet another occasion where there’s plenty of talent but it just doesn’t work, it’s a superb cast and they’re all reliable but no-one gets the room to do themselves justice. The tone falls head over heels into sentimentality and leaves no space for the comedy to grow. If they’d gone full force into creating a parody of your average romantic flick, this could have been something interesting but seeing as how it doesn’t feel like those brief touches of self-awareness were on purpose, that potential goes unused.

Verdict: ✯✯½ | 5/10

In Theaters Nationwide January 27

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