The Five Year Engagement
This review first appeared in the Sunday Star Times, 6th May 2012
British every(where) woman Emily Blunt and Team Apatow regular Jason Segel are Tom and Violet – a couple who fall quickly in love and then, as the title suggests, spend the next five years of their relationship travelling the ups and downs of the road to marriage.
Director Nicholas Stoller played slightly dirtier in Get Him To The Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but even without Russell Brand’s antics he manages to concoct a sweet lovers’ tryst out of Segel’s goofy chef and Blunt’s thoughtful psychologist. The script is a mixed bag – sometimes conveniently dull, unrealistic and even a bit lame, then suddenly spouting something clever, a new angle on relationship woes, and providing humour in its truisms.
Almost inevitably nowadays, there is a “funny bridesmaid” in the form of Violet’s emotional sister, Suzie, and adulterous intrigue provided by Welshman Rhys Ifans, who mostly veers away from professorial caricature but certainly cuts it close.
There’s never really any doubt that Tom and Violet, who are far nicer to one another than any long-time couple you’re likely to know in real life, will make it through – but their journey is nonetheless amusing, peppered with laugh-out-loud moments and some surprising cameos.