You don’t have to look at a calendar to know it’s January. All you have to do is look at the marquee of your local multiplex to see the failing crop of new releases. “80 For Brady,” anyone?
Writer/director Michael Jacobs’ “Maybe I Do” (Vertical) introduces us to three couples, that, on occasion, are four or more. Howard (Richard Gere) and Monica (Susan Sarandon) have been carrying on an extramarital affair for four months which began with a one-night stand. Howard is married to the vaguely religious Grace (Diane Keaton) who encounters Monica’s sensitive husband Sam (William H. Macy) in a movie theater, and they spend the evening together just talking.
Not far away, Michelle (Emma Roberts), the daughter of Howard and Grace, is attending a wedding with her boyfriend Allen (hot Luke Bracey). Michelle, who was supposed to catch the bridal bouquet, is interrupted by Allen who climbed up on a table and leaps in front of her to prevent it from happening. This creates a sizable rift in their relationship and Michelle and Allen seek the solace and advice of their, unbeknownst to them, unfaithful parents.
After almost an hour of set-up, the punchline is delivered. It’s decided that both sets of parents should meet and help their children to figure out their future. What follows should have been funnier, but the laughs are lightweight (although Macy has the honor of delivering the one laugh-out-loud line).
There is tension between Howard and Monica (she threatened to kill him the last time they were together when he ended things), but no one seems to notice. Meanwhile, Sam’s summation of his chaste night with Grace, “by not touching each other, we touched each other,” becomes a plea for a happier life with someone other than his wife. There are revelations and recriminations, and ultimately resolutions.
“Maybe I Do” is the kind of movie that Nancy Meyers (“Baby Boom,” “It’s Complicated”) has been cranking out for years, some of which starred Diane Keaton. But, despite the more than capable cast, “Maybe I Do” comes up short. Perhaps it needed a woman director’s touch.
If nothing else, “Maybe I Do” is sure to spark peripheral conversation around Richard Gere and some of the female cast members. For instance, early in both of their careers, Gere and Keaton co-starred in the 1977 movie “Looking For Mr. Goodbar,” which is memorable for the scene in which Tony (Gere) dances around Theresa’s (Keaton) apartment in a jockstrap. Additionally, Gere and Emma Roberts’ aunt Julia co-starred in two movies together; “Pretty Woman” and “Runaway Bride.”
Gregg Shapiro is the author of eight books including the poetry chapbook Fear of Muses (Souvenir Spoon Books, 2022). An entertainment journalist, whose interviews and reviews run in a variety of regional LGBTQ+ and mainstream publications and websites, Shapiro lives in Fort Lauderdale with his husband Rick and their dog Coco.