Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Chris Pratt
Running Time: 124 minutes
Release Date: 22 June
When did we get so old? There was a time when a new hit comedy meant a band of horny teens trying to get laid at the high school prom, Stifler drinking pale ale and Matchbox Twenty soundtracks. Now it’s all stag parties, bridal showers, break ups and unplanned pregnancies. Thanks a bunch, Judd Apatow.
Latest off the Apatowian production line is The Five-Year Engagement, an unashamedly heart-on-its-sleeve romantic comedy, starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt as a head over heels in love couple. After an initial blissful engagement, a post-doctorate for Violet (Blunt) sees her and Tom (Segel) relocate from the bright and sunny surroundings of San Francisco to grim and perpetually snowy Ann Arbor.
You’ll be right if you feel like we’re in an all-too familiar situation here, especially for those accustomed to that new breed of guy friendly rom-com that Segel and mates have been bandying about for the past five years. Segel himself has addressed the subject, stating “you know how the movie is going to end; the two people on the poster will end up together. The trick is to get there in a new and surprising way.” The problem with this conceit is that arguably since Knocked Up, none have actually succeeded.
That said, Segel and Blunt are exceptionally bloody lovable, so not all is lost. They make you root for them, unlike say anything Katherine Heigl stars in, where your lust for a Contagion-style virus can be quite startling. It’s their co-stars though that steal the show though, a fact surprising only to those lacking high speed internet and an affinity for Community and Parks And Recreation. Alison Brie’s emotional Vesuvius Suzie plays for most of the laughs, with a Sesame Street inspired gag a standout. Parks‘ Chris Pratt doesn’t veer too far from his bread and butter role, even adding a Billy Joel inspired ditty.
It’s predictable and it’s egregiously long – a few minutes over the two hour mark, it feels every bit the titular five years. Tom and Alice are essentially good, fun people though, so spending some time with them isn’t such a bad thing. Finding humour in such surroundings does start to give you a feel of your impending mortality though, we’re not eighteen anymore it seems. Anyone know what a tracker mortgage is?