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The World’s Worst Chick Flick Part 5: Chaos Theory

January 11, 2011

I thought I’d mix things up a bit and review a movie I hadn’t seen before today. All the other contenders for the title I had viewed previously, so I knew if they were any good or not. But I noticed Chaos Theory on Netflix and decided to give it a try because it’s listed as a romance/comedy/drama and, more importantly, it stars Ryan Reynolds. All signs point to chick flick.

Okay, for the sake of full disclosure, I admit that I’m a Ryan Reynolds fan. But I’m not a Johnny-come-lately who only likes him since The Proposal or his “winning” World’s Sexiest Man from People magazine. I’ve been a Reynolds fan since the days of Two Guys and a Girl. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive in.

Chaos Theory is about Frank Allen (Ryan Reynolds), his wife Susan (Emily Mortimer), their daughter Jesse and their friends. Frank is obsessed with everything being in order and on time and he accomplishes his daily goals by making a to do list for each day. His wife thinks he needs to loosen up, so she sets the clock forward 10 minutes one day and because of this he is late to a speaking engagement (where he’ll be talking about his list-making ways).

Being late sets in motion a series of events that will end with Susan believing Frank has fathered another woman’s child. Frank ends up living in a hotel and going crazy, doing all the things he was too rational to do before. Other misunderstandings and bad things happen to the Allens, but eventually everyone realizes they’ve made mistakes and they love each other in spite of these things.

First, the good news: I still like Ryan Reynolds. Maybe I am being wooed by his good looks, but I believe he is a good actor. I like how he delivers sarcastic lines with a straight face, but a bit of bite to them. (Although my love of sarcasm may also be persuading this view.) So if you’re a fan of Ryan Reynolds as well, and especially Ryan Reynolds when he plays a father who cries over sad stuff and is really sweet to his daughter, then you’ll like this movie.

But now for the bad news. The most common story plot follows a very simple progression. You have the exposition (characters are introduced), rising action, climax, falling action, resolution and the end.

Plot outline

Chaos Theory didn’t seem to be content with such a simple plotline. So instead, their plot looked something like this:

Plot outline 2

This kind of plot stresses me out. Mainly because a lot of what happens could be prevented if people sat down, talked rationally, and told their side of the story. But apparently people in movies are incapable of doing this, so there’s all sorts of ups and downs and bad decisions being made. I’ll admit that sitting down in your living room and discussing what has happened wouldn’t make for a great movie. So I guess what I’m saying is that this movie should have had fewer ups and downs and just focused on a few plot twists. It’s better to do a few things great, then a lot of things mediocre. Can I get an amen?

The only other problem with the movie is that Frank Allen has a beard. I’m not opposed to beards, but his was unnecessary. Only two types of characters have beards, uptight debbie-downers and psychopaths. Frank is uptight, but we don’t need a beard to tell us that.

In the end, this is an okay movie. Frank Allen is likable for the most part, although his wife doesn’t seem all that great until the end of the movie. And really, you can’t go wrong with Ryan Reynolds playing a doting father. You just can’t.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 17, 2011 11:30 am

    I can now remove this from my Netflix instant queue with a clear conscience now.

    Also, the scale is LEGENDARY.

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