Maybe I Do: The BRWC Review. By Joe Muldoon.
Boasting a star-studded cast including Hollywood heavyweights Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, and William Macy, director Michael Jacobs’ upcoming romantic comedy was always bound to be entertaining. Michelle (Emma Roberts) and Allen (Luke Bracey) are a young couple deciding upon their future together. At a wedding, the bride has agreed to throw the bouquet directly to Michelle, knowing her fantasy is to be the one to catch it.
Allen, however, is anxious about taking the next step in their relationship, being content with how they currently are – the sensible course of action, he decides, is naturally to leap from a table and intercept the bouquet midair, catching it himself. Unsurprisingly, Michelle and the rest of the bridesmaids are quite unimpressed, and this leads to an ultimatum about the future of their relationship together.
In the meantime, their parents – unbeknownst to one another – are becoming well-acquainted; Allen’s father Sam (William Macy) and Michelle’s mother Grace (Diane Keaton) meet each other at the cinema, whilst Allen’s mother Monica (Susan Sarandon) and Michelle’s father Howard (Richard Gere) are at a fancy hotel rendezvous.
Being painfully relatable to myself, Sam feels that a good remedy to his feeling of distress is to visit the cinema alone, which leads to his chance encounter with Grace, who comforts Sam after hearing him sobbing into his popcorn. The pair feel unsatisfied with their home lives, a lack of emotional or physical intimacy from their significant others. Getting cold feet after they rent a by-the-hour motel room, they instead decide to take to the New Jersey streets, discussing their lives and views.
Howard and Monica’s night is decidedly less fulfilling, with Howard’s existential crisis getting in the way of their planned lovemaking. Looking back on his life, Howard laments that if the next 20 years pass as quickly as the last 20 have in his memory, his life will be over in the blink of an eye. “If that’s what we’ve got left, are we living our best lives?”, he asks. Unsurprisingly, this does little to whet Monica’s appetite, so their night turns into a fairly expensive (albeit luxurious) discussion.
After Michelle and Allen have lengthy discussions with their parents about their views on love and relationships, Michelle decides to ask Allen and his parents over for dinner, an attempt to patch things up and introduce everybody to one another. As one may expect, some rather amusing discussions entail upon the realisation that everyone already knows one another far better than anticipated.
Maybe I Do offers little new to the romcom genre, but it doesn’t need to – it’s a charming and entertaining comedy, helped along by its excellent cast, who share a splendid amount of chemistry. Particularly impressive is Susan Sarandon’s performance, her zesty remarks and demeanour bringing out genuine chuckles from the audience. Underneath its comical face is a compelling existential dialogue on meaning, fulfilment, and ageing. If I can look even half as good as Richard Gere in 50 years, I’ll be quite content with myself. Maybe I Do opens in cinemas on 27th January.
By Joe Muldoon
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