Directed by: Michael Jacobs
Distributed by: Vertical Entertainment
Written by Patrick Hao
“Maybe I Do” is an appropriate title for a film that is as tepid and unsure of itself as the statement. From sitcom veteran Michael Jacobs, who serves as the writer-director of this film, “Maybe I Do” is a prime example of just how difficult a relationship comedy truly is. Despite an all-star cast of Diane Keaton, William H. Macy, Susan Sarandon, and Richard Gere appearing in his first film in about half a decade, Jacobs direction and overwritten script bogs down a film whose premise could have harkened back to the screwball comedies of the thirties.
The film begins as a triptych of three couples. There is a meet-cute between Sam (William H. Macy) and Grace (Diane Keaton), after Grace notices Sam crying hysterically at a movie theater. They find solace in each other as two lonely souls despite being married. Despite not consummating their first night together, the emotional affair jolts them to question their marriages. Unbeknownst to them their spouses, Howard (Richard Gere) and Monica (Susan Sarandon) have been having a clandestine affair that is beginning to wane as Howard begins to long for a more meaningful relationship in his twilight years. The final third couple is Allen (Luke Bracey) and Michelle (Emma Roberts). Allen’s fear of marriage to his long-time girlfriend threatens to end their relationship. As one final attempt to salvage their relationship, they decide to finally have a dinner party with their parents, whom have never met each other. As all great screwball comedies go, it turns out that Michelle’s parents are Howard and Grace and Allen’s parents are Sam and Monica.
What makes “Maybe I Do” truly baffling is that the quartet of veterans are doing all their usual movie star tricks. Keaton is neurotically charming. Gere is roguishly handsome. Sarandon is sexy and cynical. And William H. Macy is such a lovable sad sack. This has worked for all four of them for a combined 160 years. Yet with Jacobs’ overly clever script, that unfortunately harkens back to his career as a family-friendly sitcom writer, the four long-time movie stars look lost. Doing them no favors is the flat direction by Jacobs which hangs around them like an albatross.
It really makes you appreciate the quiet brilliance of someone like Nancy Meyers who, as both a writer and director, is able to deftly balance the depth of the relationship malaise while offering an invisible competency in composition. Jacobs is struggling to reach any profundity, continuously trying to have some sort of earnest observation. Any attempts to wring the farce out of the situations presented are immediately undercut by the clear product placements by Anheuser Busch.
“Maybe I Do” is probably best used as an example of what-not-to-do. Every aspect of the film just feels wrong or off. The script is overwritten. The music is overbearing. The compositions are over-lit and overly flat. If I was a hacky Michael Jacobs-type writer, I would say that this movie seems like it was generated by an AI.
“Maybe I Do” Trailer