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In San Francisco, after a year's relationship, Tom proposes to Violet; she accepts. She's an experimental psychologist, hoping for a post-doc at Cal. He's a sous chef who runs the kitchen when the chef is away. When Cal falls through and she gets an offer in Ann Arbor, Tom agrees to support the move, turning down a job as chef at a new restaurant. The move requires postponing the wedding. At Michigan, Violet is in her element, but Tom is underemployed and frustrated; he's Stoic for a while, but when two years in Michigan become four, Tom's frustrations boil over, and on the eve of yet another wedding date, they must make a choice. Is there any other alternative? Written by
The Five-Year Engagement sees Jason Segel continuing to try and cement his place as one of Hollywood's greatest comedy actors following The Muppets and Jeff Who Lives At Home with the help of writing partner Nicholas Stoller. Segel's latest offering comes in the form of a romantic comedy when exactly a year after meeting Tom (Segel) proposes to his girlfriend Violet (Emily Blunt) but unexpected events keep on getting in their way as they attempt to tie the knot with one another.
With most films of this genre you get the same thing over and over again: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl split up, boy and girl get back together and live happily ever after. In The Five-Year Engagement what you get is an in depth look at the ins and outs of a stable relationship as it journeys through the ups and downs of life. I think that this is a great idea and shows that relationships don't always run smoothly as plenty of other films would have you believe. I also believe that The Five-Year Engagement separates itself from other comedies aimed at an adult audience by being cleverer and, although we do get to see Jason Segel's rear end on more than one occasion, a lot of the comedy is very well written and obviously well put together.
There is clear chemistry between the two leads of the film, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt which is obviously helped by their off screen friendship and the fact that the two of them have worked together previously. Segel puts in a great performance but I don't think that we ever get to see the best of him like we have seen in The Muppets and television sitcom How I Met Your Mother. He is a very fine comedic actor though and brings out some good laughs here; I'm not a fan of Emily Blunt too much and at times her comedy efforts seemed a little forced. Also, her accent seems overly British even though it's authentic, how weird is that? The Five-Year Engagement starts off very well with some hilarious moments and really sets you up for what should be a laugh a minute film from start to finish. A lot of this is the emphasis put on the characters of Tom's colleague and friend Alex (Chris Pratt) and Violet's sister Suzie (Alison Brie). Whilst their relationship offers very little to the film as a whole their individual contribution to scenes are very well delivered. Chris Pratt is wonderfully funny in almost every scene in which he features and a particular scene featuring Pratt's Alex delivering a presentation of Tom's former girlfriends is my favourite part of the film and a brilliantly written and acted scene. Unfortunately, their characters seem to fizzle out and so does the film itself.
There is a reason that most romantic comedies are only an hour and a half long; the plot cannot sustain a two hour movie without lagging. The Five-Year Engagement does try and stretch over two hours and you would think that with five years of a relationship to tell then it would easily manage this without getting too boring. You would be wrong. It gets to a point where you think it could be coming to an end only to realise there is still about half an hour left and after a while the laughs become a sparse item. Don't get me wrong, The Five-Year Engagement at times is hilarious and it is definitely a great romantic comedy with real stock in the lead characters but it tails off towards the end. It is still, though, definitely worth watching!
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