“Maybe”: Seasoned pros can’t save this purported romantic comedy

Richard Gere, Diane Keaton, William H. Macy, and Susan Sarandon (from left) in “Maybe.” John Baer/Vertical Entertainment

Talky, laborious and lost in mediocrity, Maybe is another sad example of what happens to seasoned pros when they hang around long enough to get into material that is sadly beneath them. They want to work to keep declining careers alive, but with so few worthy vehicles, they’re forced to accept whatever lean projects come their way. As much as I admire, respect and look forward to seeing Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and William H. Macy on screen, there’s nothing this glamorous ensemble can do about the deadly dullness of a purported romantic comedy called Maybe. With stars like these, this should be a cause for celebration. Instead, it seems doubly disappointing.

MAYBE I DO ★★ (2/4 stars)
Directed by: Michael Jacobs
Written by: Michael Jacobs
Starring: Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, William H. Macy
Duration: 94 minutes.

Poorly written and clumsily directed by Michael Jacobs, it focuses (briefly) on an attractive young couple, Allen and Michelle (Luke Bracey and Emma Roberts), who, after debating, bickering and overanalyzing their relationship, decide to take a giant leap forward. to make. forward and tie the knot. There’s one last knot that needs to be untied first: they have to arrange a dinner party to introduce their parents. The big shock is that they already know each other. Michelle’s dad (Richard Gere) has been sleeping with Allen’s mom (Susan Sarandon) for four months, and her mom (Diane Keaton) had a one-night stand with Allen’s slack dad (William H. Macy) after picking him up at a movie theater. Sarandon and Macy have no idea what’s in store for them and head to the hideous suburban home of Keaton and Gere in Mamaroneck.

As all hell breaks loose, the rest of the movie forces them all to drive each other crazy with endless debates about guilt, infidelity, commitment and the archaic value of wedding vows. Each actor miraculously manages a few moments of brilliant candor and revelation, but the film, constrained by the director’s adaptation of his flop play, never manages to find the necessary freedom to escape a distinctly claustrophobic atmosphere. , stage-related story in something. three-dimensional that could arouse the interest of a viewer outside the proscenium. Movies are not plays; they need room to grow and fresh air to breathe. Maybea twist on the words exchanged since day one at wedding ceremonies everywhere never goes beyond cardboard.

The characters are all neurotic and miserable, but in no interesting way, resulting in stilted dialogue that never comes to life, spoken in the style of fake monologues that will keep you looking at your watch. Daughter Michelle: “We have to decide whether to get married or separate.” Michelle’s Dad: “Honey, you can’t bear to think about spending your life with someone or never seeing them again.” Allen’s mother: “Well, of course you can. Those are the choices.” Every star gets a star turn on pretentious chatter. Macy: “Love is just a word we added to describe the feeling that we won’t really understand until we’re old enough to look back on it – and we wonder if we ever understood that.” And what about Sarandon, who looks gorgeous and gets the worst lines, “You know what killed relationships?” antibiotics. ‘Till death do us part’ had to be rewritten after penicillin.” The whole movie needs to be rewritten, if you ask me.

What attracted an enlightened cast like this, politically and sexually liberated, to a movie mired in naivete and dated ignorance is a mystery. All four stars have made careers playing hip, poised, outspoken people in everything from American gigolo And Looking for Mr. Goodbar Unpleasant Boogie nights. Now they play stale, ignorant clods with no defining characteristics beyond the usual conservative clichés. And I’m afraid they’re doing it to make money and keep their careers going because they’re not being offered anything better. This is a crime that must be rectified immediately. In short: despite an abundance of errors, it is I might Good? Are you kidding? Ultimately, when every husband convinces his wife “the best part of the rest of my life is you,” the moral is cringe. Is it worth seeing anyway? Your turn.

Observer Reviews are regular reviews of new and notable movies.

'Maybe' review: Seasoned pros can't save this purported romantic comedy

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