Film review: Five Year EngagementBy James Watkins
November 06, 2012
HAVING been in a relationship for a year, Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) decide it is time to tie the knot and start putting things in motion to plan their perfect wedding day.
Everything appears to be running smoothly until Violet is offered a post-doctorate position in Michigan, resulting in Tom sacrificing his job as a sous chef in a top San Francisco restaurant so they can persue his fiancé’s dream.
This is the first of many obstacles that prevent the pair from reaching the alter, and the introduction of Violet’s professor, Rhys Ifans, is the biggest threat to their future plans of living happily ever after.
A wedding comedy is hardly an original concept these days, but Tom and Violet’s relationship is both charming and genuine enough to keep things interesting.
The storyline depicting the demise of a relationship after things appear to be so serene is also intriguing.
Segel may not be on his usual comedy form, and perhaps you would expect a higher ratio of rib-ticklers from him, but what he lacks in jokes he makes up in a solid acting performance.
Unlike Segel, Blunt does not have the comedy credentials behind her, so there is little room for her to disappoint in that department, but she is never in danger of overwhelming the audience with laughs.
That said, the movie does have enough laugh-out-loud moments to keep the balance between romance and comedy tipped in the favour of the latter. These mainly come from the terrific support cast.
Segel still has the odd moment to remind everyone of his established comic past, such as managing to get run over by a stationary car.
However, there are places when the comedy also falls flat on its face, a bizarre and unfunny choice of wedding song at Violet’s sister’s wedding being particularly cringeworthy.
Previous collaborations between Segel and director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets) have hit the comic mark more consistently, but this film is far from forgettable.
While having a predictable and inevitable rom-com format, and being the best part of two hours, the film does not become a bore.
The final act moves fast enough to increase the pace of the film without skirting quickly over any key plot points and has a satisfying ending without feeling like a compromised cop-out.