Emily Blunt and Jason Segel explore the many stumbles and trips couples face on the long walk down the aisle.
After only one year of dating, Tom (Segel) proposes to his girlfriend Violet (Blunt). Yet the happy couple is forced to mute those wedding bells as ‘life’ proceeds to get in the way, delaying the big day…again…again…and again.
The Five-Year Engagement presents a very simple, but ultimately realistic scenario. The core issues of the film are ones any partner can relate to: compromise, sacrifice and resentment. It explores the many challenges love is often asked to withstand. It makes for a nice little storyline.
Blunt and Segel have a cute chemistry, though why they insist on pairing is anyones guess. This is the third film they’ve starred in together even though (let’s be honest) Blunt is waaaay out of Segel’s league!
The film chugs off to a pretty appalling start with the opening gag raising eyebrows rather than chuckles. The first ten minutes falls flat, but it slowly picks up and the laughs get better. The supporting characters are equally inconsistent with your token immature, goofy best mate and pushy parents sprinkled with some of the usual weird but loveable types. Some will have you splitting your sides, others cause tumbleweeds to roll across the silent theatre.
Relative unknown American actress Alison Brie, who plays Violet’s sister, is one of the few who impress. Having studied recordings of Blunt’s voice, her accent and mannerisms are spot on. You would swear her and Blunt were actually related.
The jokes are as inconsistent as the characters. The film plays out rather like a comedy skit show with some gags resulting in absolute hilarity, while others leave you cringing and confused as to how they could even be considered funny. This could possibly be attributed to Segel also executive producing the film – too much personal humour, not enough consideration of the mass audience.
In terms of film-making, there’s nothing special going on here: the cinematography is average and the soundtrack is average. Though none of it is what you’d call crapolla, it’s all pretty stock-standard stuff.
In summary, The Five-Year Engagement is mighty inconsistent. Some jokes are truly terrible while others will bring tears to your eyes (in a good way). To it’s credit, it is one romantic comedy that boyfriends will enjoy as much their girlfriends, so it makes for a good date-movie. However, it is ultimately a flawed comedy with too many jokes falling flat to merit my precious stars!
I rate The Five-Year Engagement 2.5 stars out of 5.