The Five-Year Engagement
Jason Segel and Emily Blunt in romantic comedy Discuss this article
All engaged couples go through rough patches on their journey toward walking down the aisle; for Tom (Segel) and Violet (Blunt), the road gets especially rocky. No sooner have the two lovebirds announced their nuptials than a career opportunity for the would-be bride forces a relocation from the Bay Area to Minnesota. Wedding plans are put on indefinite hold; as the years go on, resentments build up, emotional funk gives way to awful facial hair, and arguments become increasingly nasty.
Nicholas Stoller’s relationship-roller-coaster comedy has hints that something stronger and slightly edgier might lie beneath its smooth surface. But whereas Stoller and Segel did wonders with the formula in 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a certain overfamiliarity creeps in long before the going gets rough. Combine that with outright laziness about using the filmmaking to complement the funny – would it kill people to construct a scene that doesn’t cut away after a punchline? – and the fact that relying on Segel and Blunt’s ample charms alone simply isn’t enough to carry an unnecessarily long, winding storyline, and the sense of deflation soon becomes overwhelming. There are two love affairs that are in danger of falling to pieces here, and only one of them is on the screen.
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