Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

Image: Universal

It’s been four years since Jason Segel proved his comedic leading man chops with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and his reunion with co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller finds him in similar territory.

Tom Solomon (Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) are perfect for each other and have just got engaged. But when Violet gets her dream job, it means relocating from San Francisco (where Tom is a successful chef) to Michigan. Tom loathes their new town and as the strain on their relationship grows, the wedding keeps getting put off.

You’d be hard-pushed to find a more charming, likeable leading pair than Segel and Blunt. They’re funny, they’re adorable together, and they’re totally believable as a couple. And given that they’re supported by Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt and Community’s Alison Brie, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this has all the makings of a hilarious comedy.

Well, it’s not quite that. The Five-Year Engagement is a choppy, overlong movie that starts really promisingly before dragging its feet through a second half that seems to be running out of jokes. Once it’s clear that Violet isn’t going anywhere and Tom isn’t cheering up, it doesn’t really feel like the filmmakers know what to fill the time with. However, the two leads are so good together that even when it’s running out of steam, it’s still watchable. Their chemistry is fantastic, and there’s a lot of very funny physical comedy. Segel’s never been afraid of sacrificing vanity for a good joke, and Blunt is just as game as he is. So while it may rely heavily on Segel growing mountain-man mutton chops or Blunt getting shot in the leg with a crossbow, that’s not necessarily such a bad thing.

Essentially, if you’re a fan of the two actors, we can recommend this. For the most part it’s funny, likeable, and sweet. However, there are definitely big problems that become increasingly apparent as it goes on. It definitely looks as though there was a lot of chopping and changing in the editing room, but it’s difficult to argue too much with a film that has Emily Blunt and Alison Brie having a heated argument as The Cookie Monster and Elmo.

It’s got a great first half and it’s certainly enjoyable, if overlong and a bit muddled, but thankfully the cast makes the film worth sticking with.



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