Review – The Five-Year Engagement

“The journey is more important than the destination” is a valid point and the saying is often used to ease the pain of a long flight stop-over in a strange country when travelling. When it comes to ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ the audience knows the journey and the destination from the film’s title alone; it’s kind of like the romantic comedy equivalent of ‘Snakes on a Plane’. Despite the familiar territory, it’s a trip that’s worth taking due to a few good laughs and two very charming leads.

Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) get engaged and are preparing to get married but a series of events impede on their plans to wed.

The premise is simple and the competition from other recent wedding themed movies provides tough competition in comparison (hello ‘Bridesmaids’), but it’s the chemistry of Segel and Blunt that keeps the spark alive. They make a great team and are believable as a couple without playing to the regular rom-com stereotypes of the perfect couple. It’s enjoyable to be in their company as well as the excellent supporting cast that includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie and Rhys Ifans. A special mention must go to Chris Parnell (’30 Rock’) who makes a brief but hilarious appearance.

Segel and director Nicholas Stoller both worked on the screenplay and have scripted enough humour and observations on modern relationships to keep things interesting. It’s easily the safest work Stoller has done as a director compared to his other films ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ and ‘Get Him to the Greek’. Underneath all the gags the film is grounded by a sweet romantic sentiment to keep the heart toasty.

The virus of comedies running way too long has unfortunately infected ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ and it does drag a little. Men going in clean shaven will be able stoke a decent beard on their way out of the cinema.

Like most marriages, ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ has its rough patches but it’s not a complete disaster and there is no Katherine Heigl in sight.

3/5

‘The Five-Year Engagement’ is now showing in Australia and US.

Released 22 June 2012 UK

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