Definitely, Maybe is a lousy title, but I’m guessing the studio went with it because How I Met Your Mother was already taken.

Hollywood should make movies like this one more often – an unconventionally structured comedy that casts a number of talented, attractive, and unheralded actors in leading roles. You want to root for it, but sadly the film turns out to have a negligible effect, when a few easy changes could have made it into something terrific. The movie starts with New York ad executive Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) picking up his daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) at school, only to find the place in chaos because the teachers have just given a state-mandated sex-education class to the young students – what makes the scene funny is Maya’s quiet sense of purpose amid the other kids’ yelling and freaking out. The whole experience spurs her to ask her dad how he met her mom, an oddly appropriate subject given that he just signed the divorce papers. The rest of the movie is presented as a big flashback, with Will telling Maya the story of the three significant relationships he’s had in his life but changing the women’s names so that she has to guess which one of them is her mother.

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