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‘Maybe I Do’ for fans of dialogue & home decor



“Maybe I Do”

Rated PG-13. At the Liberty Tree Mall and other suburban theaters.

Grade: C+

In the elder rom-com “Maybe I Do,” Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, William H. Macy and Susan Sarandon play two couples who are cheating on each other with each other. It was hard at first to keep track of who was who, especially before I figured out everyone’s names.

Howard (Gere), who is married to mousy Grace (Keaton), is cheating on her with sexy Monica (Sarandon), while Sam (Macy) who is married to Monica, enjoys a tryst with Grace that begins in a sparsely filled movie theater in which he is weeping uncontrollably at some dismal Nordic drama.

This all happens without the respective spouses’ knowledge until all of them meet face-to-face at a dinner at Howard and Grace’s baronial home (the film was shot in part in Montclair, N.J.). The dinner is on behalf of their grown-up children Allen (Luke Bracey, “Elvis”) and Michelle (Emma Roberts, “American Horror Story”), who live together, but have just broken up because handsome Allen is not quite ready to make the leap and marry and start a family.

Allen and Michelle, who have a falling out after Allen stops Michelle from catching the bouquet at a wedding reception by interception, also talk a lot about love. What it is. Do they have it? Can they keep it? Are they making a terrible mistake? Would getting married be an even worse mistake? Oy.

Written and directed by award-winning playwright, screenwriter and film and TV producer Michael Jacobs (“Girl Meets World”), “Maybe I Do” is like a Nora Ephron movie without Ephron. It has all the Ephron trademarks: the expensive homes, out-sized kitchens with back splashes the size of a Tesla, over-padded furniture, drapes, granite islands, lots of glass, glassware and top-of-the-line appliances. The lighting is altogether too bright perhaps to make up for the fading eyesight of the target audience.

After we meet the film’s characters, Sam buys a bucket of chicken to bring with him to the Tweedle Dee Motel, where the man behind the counter thinks Sam is about to bring in a hooker as well. Instead, demure Grace appears and she and Sam proceed to talk our ears off, watch TV and go for a walk, bucket in hand. Scarves abound. Someone remarks, “It’s not our world anymore.” Howard and Grace want to know why Michelle has showed up at their doorstep. The same is true for Sam and Monica when Allen appears. Is it possible these people also live in the same part of New Jersey? The front door of Howard and Grace’s home has enough hardware to strain its hinges.

Drinks are served. Why couldn’t I have one? Sam wants to take Grace to Tahiti, presumably to close the adultery deal. Gere played opposite Roberts’ Aunt Julia in “Pretty Woman.” That was a long time ago. Roberts has the sole, real moment in “Maybe I Do” opposite Bracey, and she handles it well. Otherwise, ”Maybe I Do” is like a long, vague conversation with people you don’t know.

(“Maybe I Do” contains profanity and sexually-suggestive themes)


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