Thursday, April 9, 2008
Author: Christina Han
RELEASE DATE: April 11, 2008
Ryan Reynolds enters the foray of adult roles in his new film, entitled CHAOS THEORY. As Frank Allen, a man who built a successful career on his obsession with time management, Reynolds conveys a charming mix of heart and soul underlying his highly idiosyncratic behavior. His emotional journey starts off with a practical joke played by his wife (Emily Mortimer), which sets off a series of Shakespearean-type mishaps.
As Buddy, Stuart Townsend is the laid back Fonzie to Reynolds’ Richie Cunningham. Townsend exudes a swarmy mystique as Frank’s unlikely best friend. Both male characters have multiple layers and the actors clearly enjoy straddling the line between dry humor and poignant moments. But Emily Mortimer’s Susan Allen is a one dimensional character who leaves the audience member wondering what her appeal is. Mortimer attempts to infuse Susan with more emotional depth but as with many films, the female character becomes a pawn in the games the boys play.
The role of Frank Allen is a fairly rugged terrain to maneuver, as he can quickly become a caricature, but Reynolds effortlessly provides Frank the weight and gravitas needed to ground him into reality. The protagonist’s life falls apart in the span of a few days, and he realizes that his obsession with time has kept him from truly experiencing life. There are a few clichés in this film, but those are made up for by Reynolds’ wit and humor. Frank Allen deals with the destruction of his stable home life by writing random ideas on index cards, which he must choose from and complete the tasks assigned (reminiscent of Two Face and his coin, anyone?).
RYAN REYNOLDS as Frank Allen, EMILY MORTIMER as Susan and STUART TOWNSEND as Buddy Endrow in Castle Rock Entertainment's and Lone Star Film Group’s CHAOS THEORY, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. (Photo by Alan Markfield)
CHAOS THEORY as a title, doesn’t quite match the movie’s message that in spite of turmoil, love will ground everyone. First of all, Frank Allen determines what his tasks are by writing them down. Therefore, the chaos that ensues is really of his own doing. The idea of chaos theory is a pattern that occurs in the most anarchic of events. The messages of love and relationships are a little far reaching, but forgivable in what the film is striving for. Although Frank’s decision towards unruliness is predictable, that seems to be what happens in real life. We react to certain situations with knee-jerk, at times extreme reactions. But we must ultimately determine what will bring us back in the end, if at all.
Ryan Reynolds has proven that he has grown up since his turn as Van Wilder, and if this role is a hint of what’s to come, I’m pretty excited to see what is around the corner for him. CHAOS THEORY provides some genuine laughs and reveals what has been until now, Reynolds’ hidden talent for acting.
Her work has been published in publications such as Jane Magazine and she is currently a press deputy for the Clinton campaign.
She is working on her first book and wants to marry Batman.