The Five-Year Engagement [2012]

Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
Written by: Nicholas Stoller, Jason Segel
Cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Allison Brie, Jacki Weaver, Rhys Ifans, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart

Stoller’s The Five-Year Engagement is a romantic comedy with a lot of emotional weight and pathos (and a surprising amount of Mexican influence). Like Bridesmaids before it, it can be quite depressing in the search for humor in human issues. Think of a cross between a sweet, Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks rom-com and Blue Valentine; Tom (Segel) and Violet’s (Blunt) relationship is one of bliss but also one of extreme pain and confusion. His dissatisfaction with the current state of his professional life, after following his fiancée to Michigan for her dream job, is something many of us will be able to identify with, at least on the “not-getting-a-job” level (or not getting the right job), something that makes the experience a bit more bittersweet.

Director Stoller managed to round up a talented (and very attractive) team to bring these characters to life (despite Community star Alison Brie being completely miscast): Chris Pratt is an absolute scene-stealer and Segel and Blunt exhibit fantastic chemistry. The biggest issue here and what prevents it from being at the level of other productions of the Apatow clan, such as Knocked Up, is the writing: a lot (a lot) of the jokes fall flat (the “dead grandparents” gag is especially unfunny).

I have an unimpressive amount of things to say about this one. Did I enjoy it? Sure. Was it funny? Yes, to an extent. Was it depressing? Hell yes, it was! Would I like to see it again? I don’t think so.

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