Length: 85 minutes
Director: Marcos Siega (Pretty Persuasion; Underclassman)
Writer: Daniel Taplitz (Breakin’ All the Rules; Commandments)
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Emily Mortimer, Stuart Townsend, Sarah Chalke, Constance Zimmer, Elizabeth Harnois, Chris William Martin, Ty Olsson
There are some movies that just rub you the wrong way. “Chaos Theory” is one of those movies and it aggravated me. The plot aggravated me, the performances aggravated me, the script aggravated, the extremely lousy direction aggravated me. The whole damn movie just got on my nerves. What were they going for here? The movie’s not romantic enough to be a chick flick nor a romantic comedy since it’s not particularly funny (that also knocks it out of the straight up comedy category- don’t let the trailer fool you) - and it seems to want to take it’s self too seriously too late into the film for it to even matter. The whole thing is an entire mess and it would be to easy to make a pun right now using the title, but use your imagination to create one for yourself. When the movie opens Ryan Reynolds is seen as an old man (though he doesn’t look particularly old) preparing to walk his daughter (Elizabeth Harnois) down the aisle. He catches the groomsman (Mike Erwin) attempting to bail and forces him to sit down for a drink and a “story”. The groomsman isn’t in the mood to hear a story (given the story he is about to hear, he should have bailed when he had the chance) and says “maybe I can hear it next Christmas”. Reynolds shakes his head, “This isn’t a Christmas kind of story”. Flashback to when Reynolds was young and part of a group of friends that included his future wife (Emily Mortimer- a usually fantastic actress in an absolutely terrible performance) and his best friend (Stuart Townsend- equally awful). The future wife, Susan, decides she must choose a husband and get married as her New Year’s resolution. She randomly picks out of three choices- including the best friend. Reynolds, of course, wins and flash forward several years and they are a happy family with a young daughter (Matreya Fedor). Reynolds is a motivational speaker who’s life is run by lists and a strict time schedule, which is starting to get on Susan’s nerves. Through a series of mistakes and misunderstandings, Reynolds is late to a seminar, pushes off the advances of a slutty fan (Sarah Chalke- “Scrubs” fans may want to rent this just to see her in an extremely hot lingerie sequence), and drives a pregnant woman to the hospital. The wife, in typical movie fashion, calls the hotel room after Reynolds leaves and talks to the slut and then is called by the hospital after the pregnant woman abandons her baby (the hospital mistakenly wrote down that Reynolds was the father of the baby). Reynolds comes home and is kicked out before he can explain. This is one of movie critic Roger Ebert’s biggest pet peeves with movies- when a situation could be solved by a simple explanation and instead it is dragged out into a feature length movie. Reynolds has a mid-life crisis and then finds out a secret that makes things even worse. I should reveal it to you, but I won’t spoil the movie, because I know despite my warning some of you will still see this. And some of you may like it. I don’t know, I have a feeling there is an audience for this movie, but I don’t understand how. The characters are all unlikable and the movie is all over the place. Director Marcos Siega started off directing Weezer and Blink 182 videos and moved on to direct such bombs as the Nick Cannon vehicle, “Underclassman”. He is completely incompetent in telling a story and getting emotion out of it. When subtlety is required, he blares a generic rock song over the soundtrack (a particularly sad sequence when Reynolds is on the verge of a nervous breakdown is a prime example). Siega bounces around back and forth like a kid with ADD who can’t decided what movie he wants to watch and keeps popping in a different DVD and taking it out after fifteen minutes and putting a new one in. It’s a shame because there is a good performance hidden in this film by Ryan Reynolds. He just doesn’t get a chance to display it and instead his character comes off as obnoxious. Chaos can work in a movie, but not in a movie that has a plot that needs at least a little structure. There’s no theory to that, that’s just how to make a watchable movie.
Pre-order the DVD Here (Release Date 06/17/08)