I must admit that despite a stellar cast, I had pretty low expectations when sitting down to watch Maybe I Do. Perhaps it was the odd premise or the fact that it’s being dumped straight to VOD. However, my fears were unfounded, and Maybe I Do is actually an adorable, fun time at home. Enough cannot be said about this ensemble, or how smart and fun the script remains while delivering on tried and true rom-com tropes. Despite a rocky start, Maybe I Do ends up a true winner in my eyes.
Marriage is anything but black and white. Depending on each individual person’s open and honest opinions about their relationship deep into their marriage, there is bound to be a vast array of different views on love and sharing this life with another person. Perhaps it is not what one expected, or maybe what should have been a lifetime is sadly cut short. Whatever the case, the characters in Maybe I Do certainly reflect as many different shades of this complicated topic as can be squeezed into a breezy ninety-minute runtime. All of them are married or about to be married.
It takes quite a bit to get on this movie’s wavelength, and it makes the oddball choice to go back and forth between scenes during each introduction before establishing that these people all know one another in some way. Sam (William H. Macy), openly sobbing while watching a depressing foreign film in a nearly-empty theater, meets Grace (Diane Keaton), a sweet woman who immediately picks up on the vibes Sam is sending out. The two begin chatting, and from there kick off an easy night that could blossom into something greater. Allen (Luke Bracey) attends the wedding of his best friend with current girlfriend Michelle (Emma Roberts), making the critical mistake of catching the bride’s bouquet, and subsequently embarrassing Michelle in front of her friends. Now, Allen and Michelle have to make an important choice regarding their future—can Allen be tied down to a longterm relationship, or will his fear of commitment get in the way? Our final introduction comes by way of Howie (Richard Gere) and Monica (Susan Sarandon). A one night stand that has turned into a four-month affair, Howie cannot seem to shake the utterly insatiable Monica.
Judging by each coupling’s shaky beginnings, to my surprise, as soon as Maybe I Do evolves out of this rough patch, it turns into a much better movie. Michelle gives Allen an ultimatum: he must commit to her fully, or he is going to lose her forever. To smooth things over, Michelle proposes a family dinner in which their parents will be meeting each other for the very first time. What could possibly go wrong? In a series of hilariously awkward misadventures over this one night, Sam and Monica are revealed to be Allen’s parents, whilst Michelle’s are Grace and Howie!
The cast is like the most extreme game of six degrees of Hollywood in quite some time. Luke Bracey and Emma Roberts previously starred together as the romantic leads in Netflix’s absolutely charming rom-com Holidate. Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon have played a married couple twice before in Shall We Dance and Arbitage, speaking to their obvious onscreen chemistry. It may not be a connection, but I was shocked to learn that writer/director Michael Jacobs was the creator of a childhood favorite, the classic show Boy Meets World! Jacobs knows how to work an ensemble cast, and to give each member their moment in the spotlight to shine.
Maybe I Do is a small movie about marriage with intimate moments, bolstered by excellent casting and an assured, sweet and saccharine direction. No marriage is the same as any other, and yet, complicated conclusions are drawn by the film’s script that feel universal. As someone recently married myself, I could relate to a few of these situations, but mostly to the endless possibilities that come with taking a leap of faith, and having full confidence in the other person. Maybe I Do may not reinvent the wheel, but it does depict a sweet, hopeful message that warms the heart.
Get read to say Maybe I Do when this charming rom-com debuts exclusively in theaters nationwide on Friday, January 27th.