Movie Review: The Five-Year Engagement (**1/2)

Movie Review: The Five-Year Engagement (**1/2)

THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Premise: Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) get engaged, but a series of unexpected career developments and setbacks delay their wedding.  Can two people who love each other remain in love while they wait to get married?

Behind-the-Scenes: Co-writers Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel previously collaborated on Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Muppets.  Judd Apatow is a producer.

The Good: Blunt and Segel have a relaxed, unforced chemistry.  The cast is adept at this kind of material and they contribute considerable low-key charm to the picture.  NBC stalwarts Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) and Alison Brie (Community) are the comedic stand-outs as Tom's best friend and Violet's sister, respectively.  Stoller and Segel provide some solid, realistic relationship moments.  My favorite is when Tom and Violet have a fight in bed, and Tom says he needs to be alone, but doesn't want Violet to leave the bed.  Little stuff like that goes a long way.  It's better than most romantic comedies.

The Bad:  That's not saying much.  Most romantic comedies suck these days.  Doesn't amount to much in the end.  The script continually devises unbelievable ways to keep Tom and Violet from getting married.  Putting off the wedding to move to a new city?  Sure.  Putting off the wedding while you live in that city and nothing much else happens?  Not really.  An extended subplot that involves Tom growing mutton-chops and going hunting with other husbands is just silly.  The biggest problem though?  It's way too long.  The movie runs over 2 hours and clearly could have benefitted from trimming about a half-hour from the running time.

Should You See It?:  Worth a look at some point.  Good in small doses, but pretty uneven overall.  It's no Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Rating: **1/2 out of 5 stars.

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