The 23rd Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival commenced with the world premiere of Alan Brooks’ newest film Definitely, Maybe. The film will not be released in theaters until this Valentine’s Day, but on January 24th, the Arlington Theater held a special screening in celebration of the festival’s opening night. Brooks presented his film along with cast members Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Liane Balaban, and Derek Luke.
Roger Durling, SBIFF Executive Director, explained how he carefully selected this opening film, “I wanted a big crowd pleaser, but I wanted a sophisticated crowd-pleaser. Working Title, who produced the film, also produced About A Boy and Love Actually. They also produced Atonement. I just thought it was the perfect hit for tonight and I’m happy to have it.”
Reynolds portrays Will Hayes, a divorcee explaining to his young daughter, Maya played by Abigail Breslin, how he and her mother met. The film flashes back to 1992; Will is fresh out of college and working on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. Seeing as though we are in the midst of a presidential election, these scenes are particularly entertaining.
Besides the Clintons, we are also introduced to three love interests; Will’s college sweetheart (Elizabeth Banks), an apolitical co-worker turned best friend (Isla Fisher), and a well-respected political journalist (Rachel Weisz). The film resembles the comedic sitcom How I Met Your Mother in that throughout the movie, the audience and Maya are in complete suspense about the identity of Maya’s mother.
Durling got his wish and satisfied the full house. This romantic comedy contained the perfect combination of humor and seriousness to be dubbed â€œthe perfect Valentine’s date movie.”
Many attendees were delighted that this premiere was held in Santa Barbara and Luke was in agreement, “To have my film debut here is so great because Santa Barbara people seem so down to earth and they are just a movie community. What better place to show a movie than a place like this?”