Most Anticipated: The Five-Year Engagement

5. The Five-Year Engagement (R)
Runtime: 124 minutes
Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt
Director: Nicholas Stoller

This was way high on my list - for obvious reasons. I love Jason Segel (who also co-wrote the movie), I love Nicholas Stoller (the man who directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall & Get Him to the Greek) and Emily Blunt is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses. And there's a great supporting cast with Alison Brie and Chris Platt. Plus most of the movie takes place in Ann Arbor, which is geographically close to my home. So I really had high expectations - and while for the most part the movie lived up to those expectations, it wasn't the greatest comedy I've seen this year.

Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed almost every minute of the movie, but there are a few missteps here and there. The film is all about Tom and Violet and starts with the moment they get engaged to the moment they finally wed (not much of a spoiler, what kind of movie would cop out and not have a perfect couple get married?). The in-between is filled with a lot of ups and downs and frankly, it kind of drags a little bit in certain parts. I don't know if they were trying to put some filler in, but there are a few scenes that could have been cut - some moments where we've already seen both characters go through the same problems or arguments. But there are some great comedic scenes with Tom's buddy, Alex (played by the always loveable Chris Pratt) and his hook-up with Violet's sister and eventual shotgun (but oh so beautiful) wedding.

It's hard to not fall in love with Jason Segel when he's on screen. He's such an honest and relatable guy that you feel comfortable whenever his character is expressing himself. I loved how he pretty much went native and became this crazy hunter/gatherer woodsman. It seemed fitting for a man trying to adapt to a whole new environment. But on the same token - it was off-putting to see the movie fall into stereotypes of Michigan. "It's so cold!!! There's woods everywhere so everyone likes to hunt!!" Even though Ann Arbor is probably the most hippie-dippy, liberal place in the state. So I felt a little let down that they went that route with some of the jokes, but that's good ol' Hollywood for ya.

I haven't talked too much about Emily Blunt, but I really did love her in this movie. She's fantastic and I thought she worked really well with Segel - they both seemed real and genuine. There's a scene in the movie where shit got real and they have a serious fight. It was nice to see this because I feel a lot of  romantic comedies shy away from these knock-down, drag-out fights. It made the real conflict of them drifting apart seem that much more real to us as an audience and to the characters.

To sum things up - this one was definitely worth seeing. Sure it dragged in a few parts and I feel like the movie could have been better paced, but there's so much to love here. The jokes are great, the chemistry between Segel and Blunt is cute and there's plenty of romantic comedie troupes hiding behind the R-rated raunchy comedy. It's a sweet and fun movie that's a great date night movie.

Rating: See It!

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