The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

I’m a sucker for pretty much anything that has Judd Apatow’s name on it.  He might be overly in love with his own material when he directs his own movies, but generally they always seem to have a blend of heart and crassness.  For the most part, the movies he produces also share those qualities, and The Five-Year Engagement is another in that vein.  However, the perfect blend in this case is one that pretty much pushes the crassness off to the socially dysfunctional characters and instead explores the complexity of adult relationships.  At least I think it does, having never really been in one, it is hard to tell for sure.

Co-written by director Nicholas Stoller and co-star Jason Segel, Five-Year Engagement takes us through the lives of Tom (Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt).  They are normal people and fall in love and enjoy a romantic life that is very normal, and fraught with Real Life Problems.  After accepting Tom’s marriage proposal, Violet ends up being accepted for a psychology post-doctorate program in Michigan.  However, Tom had plans to one day open his own restaurant in San Francisco, but because he loves her madly, he puts his plans on hold for a couple years to be supportive of her schooling in Michigan.  Those couple of years turn into longer and it becomes a point of contention because who wants to watch a movie about a happy couple?

The strength of the movie lies in the fact that 90% of it feels real.  Yeah, Segel and Blunt are attractive people (in Blunt’s case, stupidly attractive), but they’re real people working real jobs and having real issues and so forth.  There’s also the great chemistry between the two co-leads, and the super talented supporting cast.  The soundtrack is pretty good too, mostly comprised of Van Morrison originals/covers (sadly only a couple are actually him singing).  I was leaning towards a 3.5 for the movie until the wonderfully hilarious Muppet voices scene between Blunt and Alison Brie.

It’s a flawed movie, most notably the last sequence and the fact that it is a bit long for a rom-com, but it is highly enjoyable.  If you liked the Jim and Pam storyline from The Office, you’d certainly find yourself enjoying this movie as well.

4 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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