The Five-Year Engagement

 

 

For their third collaboration, Emily Blunt and Jason Segel’s relationship has escalated rapidly, from both starring in The Muppets but not sharing a scene they are now set to be man and wife in The Five-year Engagement.

 Penned by Jason Segel (Who also co-wrote and starred in The Muppets and Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Nicholas Stoller, the film follows the story of young couple Tom and Violet who after a slightly botched but still extremely sweet proposal, begin to plan their wedding.  Soon however various obstacles arise, mostly in Violet’s life, to delay their path to matrimony.

 More true- to life than the average rom-com, said obstacles are not fantastical and include such everyday events as funerals and promotions. Violet accepts a job resulting in a move to Michigan for them which soon begins to take it’s toll on Tom as the couple’s dynamic shifts. Blunt sparkles in the role that Segel wrote especially for her and the pair are goofy and charming together, their off-screen friendship shining through to allow a natural rapport to flow. Largely improvised, the cast, including comedians Chris Pratt and Community’s Alison Brie are each able to bring their own personal touch to their roles, making them all the more likeable.

 The couple’s relationship is what makes the film so enchanting, at 2 hrs the film is slightly too long for a rom-com and does lag slightly in the middle, but the two leads being are so charming this is easily forgiven as part of you just doesn’t want to leave them. The writing picks up well on relationship dynamics, arguments are not meticulously executed in real life, they are sloppy, often veering into childish tantrums which are reflected accurately in the film. While some may say this is an excuse for poor writing it is nevertheless a more realistic take than many films.

Pratt and Brie are also are wonderful as friends and family of the couple who manage to beat them to the altar. Brie, who allegedly fired her dialect coach, preferring instead to focus on copying Blunt’s accent pulls of a flawless English accent and has some hilarious scenes as Blunt’s sister.

Of course it’s predictable but it is witty, engaging and the leads are utterly charming with effortless chemistry. Many of the jokes had me laughing out loud for well over half the film and chuckling for the majority of the rest. Being produced by Judd Apatow, adult humour is certainly to be expected though The Five Year Engagement is less crude than many films he directed himself (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up)

 The wonderful soundtrack, with a mixture of both original versions and covers of Van Morrison songs creates a suitably romantic atmosphere. There are many heart-warming and romantic moments interspersed with gags and killer sesame street impersonations and even if it may not have you rushing down the aisle yourself, it may well have you rolling in it!

 

Verdict: ****

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