I must admit that I am not usually a fan of romantic comedies. I mostly find the genre boring and full of stock characters that are completely uninteresting. In 2008 one movie really surprised me and that was Forgetting Sarah Marshall. When I heard that Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel would be making a new movie, I was pretty excited.
Tom (Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) have been together for a year when they decide to tie the knot. Work, moving and family trouble force them to halt their plans several times and next thing you know it has been a five-year engagement (hey that’s the name of the movie!).
The thing I liked about Forgetting Sarah Marshall was how likable Jason Segel was in the movie. In The Five-Year Engagement he is still likable (can anyone hate him at this point?), but he lacks the realistic back story and the humanization that the former offered. He is a little too unbalanced to really be the guy for whom you root. For a pretty decent chunk of time he is so distraught that he sports a Civil War General handlebar mustache/mutton chops combo. It’s funny when it shows up the first time and then the next scene when it is still there you already start to feel a little tired of the joke.
I’m also disappointed that Emily Blunt wasn’t as good as she can be. Her character is a little bit too cold to really capture you. She makes many decisions in the movie without much regard for how it makes Tom feel. At the end of the movie I wondered how they had stayed together for 6 years.
For me the brightest spots were in many of the supporting roles. Alison Brie was great as Violet’s younger sister and Chris Pratt was equally funny as Tom’s frat-boy friend.The scenes featuring their two contrasting styles and mannerisms were some of my favorites.
Like many movies from the Apatow comedy camp, The Five-Year Engagement is over-long by about 20 minutes. There are several parts that just drag and feature characters and sub-plots that are unnecessary and uninteresting.
In the end, Five-Year Engagement is a movie of extremes. It is extremely hilarious, extremely boring at times but most of all extremely disappointing. It isn’t a bad movie, I just know the people involved can do better.
2.5 out of 5 Stars