For Will Hayes, a second look at the past will give him a second chance at the future.
Director: Adam Brooks
Writer(s): Adam Brooks
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Filming: Filmed in New York City, and started on October 2nd 2006.
Box Office: Grossed a total of $55,447,968 worldwide. $32,241,649 of that came from the US. Opened at #5 on the US box office taking in $9,764,270 over its opening weekend there. Only took £698,041 on opening weekend in the UK, a total of $5,681,667 there overall. Took a total of $4,168,132 in Australia.
Runtime: 112 minutes
Rating: PG-13 in the US, 12A in the UK
Ryan Reynolds stars as Will Hayes, a 30-something Manhattan dad in the midst of a divorce when his 10-year-old daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin), starts to question him about his life before marriage. Maya wants to know absolutely everything about how her parents met and fell in love. Will’s story begins in 1992, as a young, starry-eyed aspiring politician who moves to New York from Wisconsin in order to work on the presidential campaign. For Maya, Will relives his past as an idealistic young man learning the ins and outs of big city politics, and recounts the history of his romantic relationships with three very different women. Will hopelessly attempts a ‘PG’ version of his story for his daughter and changes the names so Maya has to guess who is the woman her father finally married. Is her mother Will’s college sweetheart, the dependable girl next-door Emily (Elizabeth Banks)? Is she his longtime best friend and confidante, the apolitical April (Isla Fisher)? Or is she the free-spirited but ambitious journalist Summer (Rachel Weisz)? As Maya puts together the pieces of her dad’s romantic puzzle, she begins to understand that love is not so simple or easy. And as Will tells her his tale, Maya helps him understand that it’s really never too late to go back…and maybe find a happy ending.
Ryan Reynolds … as Will Hayes
Abigail Breslin … as Maya Hayes
Elizabeth Banks … as Emily Jones
Rachel Weisz … as Summer Hartley
Kevin Kline … as Professor Hampton Roth
Derek Luke … as Russell T. McCormack
Adam Ferrara … as Gareth
Annie Parisse … as Anne
Liane Balaban … as Kelly
Nestor Serrano … as Arthur Robredo
Definitely, Maybe was first released in the UK, on February 8th 2008. It followed in the US and Australia on February 14th – Valentine’s Day – and was then released elsewhere around the world throughout March/April 2008, including March 27th in Germany, April 18th in Mexico, May 16th in Italy, and June 25th in France.
Isla plays April Hoffman in this movie. We first meet April when Will starts working at the New York Clinton campaign office in 1991. April is just working there for the money, and makes it clear to Will that she has no political affiliations, which leads them into a debate on Clinton’s cause. She is apolitical, cynical and independent … ‘apathetic’, according to Will. She is also confident and a bit of a free-spirit, not to mention brutally honest, and doesn’t think twice about challenging Will. Will and April soon become good friends, bonding over their differences, and over the years, she becomes his confidante.
Isla describes April as “outspoken and feisty”, and “someone who’s afraid of love and then learns not to be afraid,” something which Isla thought was sweet.
Photos: Gallery at Isla Fisher Web
Videos: Videos at Isla Fisher Web
• Isla had to fight to get this role, as director Adam Brooks initially didn’t think she was right for the part. Isla joked in an interview that she slipped him $50, and the role was all hers!
• Isla improvised the “Sand paper and bare ass” line.
• Anachronisms: When Will first visits April in her apartment during the Bill Clinton 1992 New York primary campaign, April plays “In Spite Of Me” by Morphine (followed by Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”). “In Spite Of Me” wasn’t released until Morphine’s September 1993 album Cure For Pain.
• Continuity error: When Will is in April’s apartment before they kiss, her hair keeps switching from framing her face to being pushed back or behind her ear.
• Geography error: The ends scene by April’s apartment in Brooklyn shows a steam construction site with a stack in the background. In New York there is only steam in Manhattan, not in the streets of Brooklyn.
• Said that April was a part that “terrified” her, because of the “emotional element” of the character. Isla said that it was a challenge to play her, and that that fear motivated her to take the role.
• Former US president Bill Clinton was a large part of this film. When Isla was asked what she thought about his politics and affairs, she said she “could never understand why his personal life was such a big deal”.
• Isla said that she and Ryan Reynolds had very “natural chemistry”. She attributes the genuine affcetion seen between them on screen as due to her teasing off him off screen!
• Isla’s favourite attribute of April’s is her “feistiness”. She likes Emily’s sweetness, and Summer’s sassiness.
– Isla Fisher: “I related to my character in that she was kind of a nomad who didn’t have a strong sense of her own identity. I felt like that when I was in my early 20s. She’s someone who is also afraid of love, and I definitely was like that when I was younger. But other than that, I thought it was a real departure for me to play this apolitical girl.”
– Isla Fisher: “Mine’s more of his friend and confidante. She starts out as this feisty, apolitical young lady, a Bohemian, nomadic woman who doesn’t really have a strong sense of herself and is very afraid of opening her heart. Through the course of the film, she grows into a very self-assured person who understands who she is and her place in the world. It was a beautiful emotional arc. I make it sound really funny, huh? We got to improvise a lot, and Ryan and I have a very funny relationship with a lot of high jinx. But it’s not like a traditional romantic comedy. All the characters are flawed, and it’s not one of those movies where you know who’s going to end up together from the get-go.”
– Isla Fisher: “I always seem to play these characters who have less social etiquette than others. They’re very naughty. April is more of a real girl and in some ways that was even tougher to do. She’s emotional. But I love great, flawed people who can really inhabit the emotional landscape.”
– Isla Fisher: “April’s like all of us when we’re young: flawed, loves life, and gets her heart broken.”
– Isla Fisher: “I think there are shades of myself in all of the three female characters. I am quite similar to April, being free-spirited and forthright at times. In my early twenties I was like April in that I was desperate to travel. I love travelling.”
– Isla Fisher: “April is feisty and apolitical and she is Will’s confidante. She is also, despite being confident, someone who is afraid of love and the depth of her own heart. Through her relationship with Will, she develops the courage to express her true feelings and is inspired to find her true calling in life.”
– Isla Fisher: “You meet directors and sometimes you just have the feeling that it’s going to be a wonderful adventure, and I had that with Adam Brooks.”
– Isla Fisher: “It’s a struggle to explain it, because I really don’t want to give away who’s the one! But my character’s very sweet, not strange at all this time.”
– Isla Fisher: “It isn’t in the sense that it’s a romantic comedy, but it is in the sense that it’s sort of a whodunit as well, and that it’s very plot-driven and it takes place over a period of time. I didn’t feel like we were doing anything cliché, I felt like we were doing something new.”
– Isla Fisher: “Ryan is somebody very easy to have that chemistry with, who smolders in the way he does.”
– Isla Fisher: “I contributed “bare-ass and sandpaper”. I remember seeing the director’s face after that take and thinking, “that’s not going to make it in!” And then I saw it in the trailer. I am someone who likes to improvise. I am someone who when let loose I enjoy a rant. For me it was great fun. Ryan too, he’s someone who’s comfortable with writing.”
– Isla Fisher: “Will and April have a very Spencer Tracy/ Katharine Hepburn- esque relationship. It’s very combative, but there’s a lot of sexual tension and love between them.”
– Isla Fisher: “Everybody is in love with Ryan Reynolds. I just think if you open the dictionary and look up the world ‘smoldering,’ you should see his name. He’s gorgeous.”
– Isla Fisher: “Some of the slick, Hollywood romantic comedies where you know in the first act who’s gonna end up with who aren’t realistic. A movie like this where all the women in the movie are just normal people who are flawed and there’s no good or bad people can definitely be a realistic story.”
– Isla Fisher: “I think it’s told from a male perspective, so hopefully guys will go.”
– Isla Fisher: “April was very similar to me when I was in my early 20s. She’s free-spirited and apolitical, doesn’t believe in marriage and is desperate to travel the world. I was like that. She has this arc and ends up working for Amnesty International, which I totally take my hat off to. I wouldn’t have the strength to work somewhere like that. I’d be crying every day at every crime against humanity that I knew about.”
– Isla Fisher: “The thing I love most about this movie is that it’s not some glossy ‘Hollywood’ romantic comedy. It’s a smart, character-driven love story and all the people are real and flawed.”
– Ryan Reynolds: “Isla is the engine called comedy in Definitely, Maybe and that engine is using Castrol Syntec oil which is, as you know, one of the best motor oils ever in the 10 weight category.”
– Ryan Reynolds: “A lot of times you’ll get a line that doesn’t quite work for you so you have to do another one. Particularly with Isla, we kind of have a synergy that I haven’t had that much or that often with anybody for that matter, so it’s great when you get somebody that you can really do it with, you know? Because you can’t just improvise alone.”
– Adam Brooks: “I found my April in Isla Fisher after I met her. She was a bit cynical and had a mushy romantic quality.”
– April: “So Emily is, what, like your college sweetheart?!”
– Will: “It’s amazing how you do that!”
– April: “What?”
– Will: “You take the simplest statement and then you twist it with a completely negative connotation, it’s really actually impressive!”
– April: “I didn’t meant to do that…”
– Will: “… but I understand!”
– April: “I actually think it’s very sweet!”
– Will: “See, you did it again!”
– April: “Really? I don’t even know I’m doing it!”
[Will is testing out his engagement speech to Emily on April]
– April: “I’m Emily, your college sweetheart! Is there something you wanted to ask me?”
– Will: “Emily…”
– April: “Wait, you’ve gotta get down on your knee!”
– Will: “No, I’m not getting down on my knee.”
– April: “She’ll like it, she’ll like seeing you down on your knee!”
– Will: “I’m not getting down on my knee.”
– April: “Such a mistake. Ok.”
– Will: “Emily…”
– April: “Yes, William!”
– Will: “Don’t make me laugh. Emily… will you … um, marry me?”
– April: “No.”
– Will: [groans] “Oh, God.”
– April: “What do you mean, ‘will you, um, marry me’? I haven’t seen you in weeks, you don’t look happy or excited about the prospect of our marriage. You’re asking me to give up my freedom, my ‘joie de vivre’, for an institution that fails as often as it succeeds. And why should I marry you anyway? I mean, why do you wanna marry me? Besides some bourgeois desire to fulfil an ideal that society imbeds in us from an early age to promote a consumer capitalist agenda.”
– Will: “OH! Oh, my god!”
[After Will has tried the proposal again, explaining why he loves Emily so much]
– Will: “So, will you, ‘um’, marry me?”
– April: “Definitely. Maybe. I have to think about it.”
[Discussing why different brands of cigarettes cost more than others]
– Will: “Uh, Copy Girl? What I think you’re actually paying for, is the picture of the eagle, and the pretty pastel colours, some reassuring idea about your lifestyle. The rest is pretty much crap.”
– April: “You wanna bet?”
– Will: “Sure.”
– April: “Twenty bucks.”
– Will: “I got twenty bucks.”
– April: “Easiest twenty bucks I ever made.”
– Will: “Really?”
– April: “Yeah!”
– Will: “That’s funny, in a minute I’ll have fourty.”
– Will: “Can I get ten copies?”
– April: “Put ’em on the pile.”
– Will: “Err, no, they’re for Arthur, I need them like, fifteen minutes ago, so, if you wouldn’t mind.”
– April: “You’re the toilet paper guy!”
– Will: “Yes, I am in fact the toilet paper guy. Feel free to call me the bagel and coffee guy, or Todd in Accounting calls me Crystal, which I’m pretty sure is a girl’s name.”
– April: “How many copies?”
– Will: “Ten, please.”
– April: “You and me, it’d kinda be like cats and dogs.”
– Will: “Oil and water.”
– April: “Sand paper and bare ass.”
– Will: “That’s gross.”
– April: “Why does everyone have to be a Democrat or a Republican? I’m struggling with the copy machine.”
– April: “Don’t make me staple your head.”
– Will: “You think it’s ridiculous that I want to be a politician, don’t you?”
– April: [laughing] “Yes.”
– Will: “Thank you.”
– April: “No, no, I get the whole politician thing. It’s easy to like you.”
– Will: “That’s true, that’s very true.”
– April: “I just wonder if you want people to like you a little too much.”
– Will: “That’s also true. I should want them to hate me. I’m gonna start working on that right away, you got any tips for me?”
– April: [laughing] “No, you’re off to a great start, I’m hating you already.”
[After watching a woman admit to having had an affair with Clinton on the news]
– April: “Well you’re right about one thing – he certainly gets women!”
– Will: “This has been fun.”
– April: “Bye toilet paper guy!”
– Will: “Bye copy girl.”
– Will: “I haven’t had sex since Clinton was re-elected.”
– April: “Why bother? He’s having enough sex for the entire country.”
– Will: “I kept the book…”
– April: “Yeah?”
– Will: “Because it was the only thing that I had left of you.”
– April: “I don’t know and I don’t know how to know, you know?”
• Empire: “If there’s a fault, it’s an imbalance of the attention given to the three women in Will’s life – college sweetheart Emily, free spirit April, and ambitious intellectual Summer. All three play beautifully, but they’re not given adequate screentime, which soon reveals where the story is taking us. That is, however, a minor complaint, and in an experience so capably handled, it seems mean to complain.”
• SF Gate: “The movie’s big discovery is Fisher as April. We already know that Weisz is sexy and that Banks can play cunning – no need to stop the presses there. But Fisher’s ability to play a hyper, madcap character while somehow suggesting some history and some sadness underneath, indicates a double threat. She has comic timing and appeal, and she can act.”
• New York Times: “But it is the women in Will’s life — including Ms. Breslin — who make up the affectionate, unsentimental heart of the film. Ms. Fisher in particular enlivens every scene she’s in with a comic energy that’s antic and graceful.”
• Variety: “A pleasingly non-formulaic romantic seriocomedy, “Definitely, Maybe” has charm and some depth, even if it’s ultimately more a third-base hit than a home run. It helps that all leads are at their most appealing. Reynolds is in low-key form but still exerts deft comic timing; Weisz and Fisher sharply delineate characters that a more formulaic exercise might have simply turned into Quirky Girls 1 and 2.”
• JoBlo.com: “Out of the three lovely ladies vying to be the “one” in this film, the story featuring the lovely Isla Fisher was the one with the most sparks and chemistry, to the point that I was hoping that the film would have focused solely on them.”
• Entertainment Weekly: “Maybe is several cuts above your average rom-com, thanks to Weisz, Elizabeth Banks, and (especially) Isla Fisher, who play his vibrant, fully drawn past loves.”
• ComingSoon.net: “On the other hand, Isla Fischer from “Wedding Crashers” is close to perfection as the outspoken downtown New York liberal that every New York guy has met and fallen for, so their scenes together are the film’s best moments, even if it takes Will longer than us to figure out that she likes him.”
• The Movie Boy: “It is Isla Fisher (2007’s “Hot Rod”), however, who steals the show as the sweet, down-to-earth April. Spontaneous, soulful and a lot of fun to watch, Fisher is simply electric onscreen, and her chemistry with Ryan Reynolds is palpable throughout.”
This film gets a warm Fisher Fantastic rating. Isla is in a fair portion of the film, but I won’t say anything else so as not to spoil it for those who have yet to see it (what are you waiting for?!). The film is a mature, sweet and surprisingly original concept of a romantic comedy, and although it drags at times, it’s very enjoyable. Isla is delightful in this role – we all know how extremely funny she is, but in this movie we really see her warmth and likeability, and for me, she was the real heart of the film. When Will met up with April after years apart, it felt like he was coming home, and we feel that with him. Not only that, but it’s nice seeing Isla play a character with humour, but in a very real manner – not over-the-top, not just a dumb girlfriend, but a character we can relate to. You should definitely – not maybe – see this movie!
Isla attended the New York premiere of Definitely, Maybe in February 2008, and posed alongside all of her main co-stars at the event. She gave numerous interviews to the press, and was featured in several high profile magazines around the time of the film’s release, including Empire, OK, and Marie Claire.
• Isla Fisher Web‘s Press page (related: 2008 interviews)
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2008 Appearances Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2008 Magazine Scans Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2008 video interviews
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2007 talk show video interviews
• News & Updates for Definitely, Maybe at Isla Fisher Web
• Official Site
• Official Site – from the production company
• Official Japanese Site
• Amazon.co.uk – purchase the DVD
• Amazon.co.uk – purchase the Blu-ray
• Amazon.com – purchase on Amazon Video
• Amazon.com – purchase the DVD
• Amazon.com – purchase the Blu-ray