Review of The Five-Year Engagement
on 2012-04-27 08:45
It’s never a good sign when your romantic comedy is over 2 hours long. I don’t care if duo Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) are behind it or not. In fact their involvement just makes this all the more disappointing. “Five-Year” will, every once in a while, spring a good laugh on you but sadly romance and comedy fall flat here.
Segel plays Tom, engaged to girlfriend Violet (Emily Blunt) before they both end up moving because she’s been accepted into top Psychology program in Michigan. Wedding plans are put on hold, Tom is forced to quit his Sous chef job in order to be with her but gets resentful and depressed, while Violet feels guilty about Tom but can’t seem to pull herself away from wanting the best out of her career.
A couple constantly putting off their wedding is not inherently a funny premise (nor is it a very romantic one since all the initial courting is over), and other than the cutaways to dead grandparents, it doesn’t yield that many laughs. A segment where Tom’s depression leads to a Grizzley Adams-look and love of hunting is pretty funny though, as is a sex scene that involves deli meats. Most of the other laughs come not from the leads but from the supporting characters (Chris Pratt, the loveable lunk from “Parks and Recreation” is the film’s true standout as Tom’s best friend). In fact the leads are the movie’s biggest problem. Waiting for Violet to get over her “everything needs to be perfect” thing and Tom to stop being such a crybaby is about as exciting as watching paint dry and their problems are the usual stuff of romantic comedies, easily remedied with one deciding that the other is more important than any job. Yet this movie takes over 2 hours to finally get to that point. And Segel’s backside nudity and Blunt doing a Cookie Monster impression just isn’t enough to make this engaging.