Maybe I Do has a doozy of a romcom high concept: A young couple, approaching marriage, introduces their parents to one another—and both sets of parents are having extramarital affairs with each other. And the couple's relationship might be even more dysfunctional than that of the parents. Adding to the appeal is that the four parents are played by Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, William H. Macy, and Diane Keaton.
That Maybe I Do is getting a tiny theatrical release in late-January is more a function of how far the romcom genre has fallen than any reflection on the quality of the film. It feels, in many ways, like a movie from 1997, especially starring actors who were huge back then. The film, shot in New York and northern New Jersey, was written and directed by Michael Jacobs, who based it on his own play, and it feels a lot like a play. Michelle (Emma Roberts) and Allen (Luke Bracey) are the couple headed towards the altar, at least until a ridiculous gesture by him at a wedding throws things into doubt.
This leads them to have a dinner with both sets of parents. But it turns out her father and his mother (Gere and Sarandon) have been having a months-long affair, while his father and her mother (Macy and Keaton) had met the night before and had an intense personal connection. It cumulates in a third-act dinner party, not unlike the one in The Birdcage, where multiple people are keeping secrets and the room’s filled with tension connected to those secrets and how they might come to light. And we realize that the parents' less-than-perfect marriages influenced their children in their approach to relationships.
The performances by the core four adults are all decent, and Keaton may have broken a Minnie Minoso-style record for starring in romantic comedies in the most consecutive decades (Annie Hall’s 45th anniversary was last year). As for Sarandon, 76, she continues her sexpot resurgence.
I was rooting for Allen not to marry Michelle, the sort of mean-girlfriend caricature that was everywhere in comedies 20 years ago but less so today. But I never believed that this is a couple that should be together. Jacobs, the director, is a prolific playwright and TV producer who also produced Quiz Show, created Boy Meets World, and wrote numerous TV theme songs. Here, he’s made a decent if forgettable comedy that probably deserves more of a chance than it’s getting.