At his daughter’s wedding, time-management specialist Frank Allen corners the reluctant groom and tells him a long story: about the night his wife chose him, and then, about eight years later, when a missed ferry, a corporate groupie, a panicked expectant mother, and a medical test brought Frank’s marriage to a crisis. In the midst of the crisis were Frank, his wife Susan, their daughter Jesse, and Frank’s best friend, the feckless Buddy. Things come to a head at a lake when Frank, armed with a shotgun, decides to cross something permanently from one of his time-management lists. Is there ever room for whim and chaos?
User Reviews: Chaos Theory is a well-acted comedy that delivers laughs a the right moments while weaving an endearing tale. It never achieves greatness, but it is enjoyable throughout.
Frank Allen (Ryan Reynolds) is a professional speaker who lectures on time management, and his life is perfectly ordered and scheduled, down to the minute. When his wife (Emily Mortimer) sets his clock forward 10 minutes as a joke, his day is thrown off. When he ends up late for an out-of-town lecture, things go awry. A couple of miscommunications leads his wife to question his fidelity, and he ends up making a discovery that causes him to have his own doubts about his family life. Deciding that his strictly ordered life has done him little good, he begins to make multiple choice index cards, choosing one at random and doing what is written on the card.
Reynolds is a very under-appreciated talent, and his work in this film is spot-on. Stuart Townsend gives a strong performance as Frank’s best friend, and Matreya Fedor has some great moments as Frank’s 7-year old daughter. Sarah Chalke shows up briefly in an interesting role, but she isn’t given that much to work with.
The movie is story is well-structured and not entirely predictable, and the pacing and timing are great. The flaw of the film, though, is the third act, which was a little over-the-top for my taste.
But it is a smart and pleasant film overall, perfect for a rental.