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Having recently become someone who is managing to attract a lot of work Jason Segel has been appearing in more and more films of late but the biggest hope is that he picks his roles carefully and so when I heard that he was appearing in a romantic comedy I was concerned if this was him starting to sellout too much but thankfully it has managed to be done well enough that he comes out of this with his reputation not too damaged.
The film sees Segel playing Tom who after one year of his relationship with Violet (played well by Emily Blunt) gets engaged to the love of his live but when things begin to change in each of their lives with opportunities in their careers the idea of settling down and a quick marriage has to keep being discussed and the path to their futures re-directed but all the while having the engagement in place. For me personally the film tried to be a romantic comedy that is delivering a message that things will always take turns and twists but that in the end life will deliver what is meant for you even if it is not what you expected at the outset but I just think that the message being delivered could have been done better.
The film itself does have some funny moments and the fact their are good performances from a number of the cast helps hold this movie up better than in many ways it deserves but overall you simply feel that the film could have been shortened a lot and not really lost out on anything for it (I would personally say if you shortened this film by about half an hour you would have the same quality as some does feel like filler so they could easily have made this either shorter or devoted more focus on giving real comedy gold). Overall it is a film which you may enjoy but are not likely to love.
I had the day off today and had some spare time, so felt like watching another movie. I am finding there are not too many TV Programmes on these days so watching a film is a better way to spend my rare moments when I actually have the control of the remote in front of the TV! I spotted The Five Year Engagement on Sky On Demand and as a "rom com" a genre I haven't watched a film in too recently it sounded interesting so decided to give it a go.
- Plot -
Violet and Tom are a happy in love couple, who met only one year ago at a New Years party when Tom decides to take the next step and propose. It does seem a bit of a whirlwind but they are happy and in love and excited to embark on their new life together despite not really being too sure of their future careers. Tom is a top Sous Chef where they live together in San Francisco but Violet is a bidding psychologist wanting to further her study and career at a University when she is offered a place at the University of Michigan. Apparently in the "view of eventually spending the rest of their lives together in San Francisco", Tom agrees to quit his top job to support his fiance and move with her for 2 years to their new cold, state. However, in Michigan Violet is happily flying and making moves in advancing her career but Tom is working in a job beneath his standards making sandwiches at a local burger joint. As the couple seem to be growing apart and each miserable the wedding is consistently put on the back burner to the span of eventually 5 years. Will they ever make the move and get hitched or do they want different things and should they just call it quits?
- My Opinion -
Boy this was one of those films that never seemed to end. It is described as a rom com but I would say it was 70% rom(ance), 0.5% com(edy) and the 29.5% was absolute drivel. I found my cheek probably twitched about once in the essence of a smile but there really was nothing comical about it. There were the usual cliche scenes - someone running when all of a sudden a car door opens and they fall over, in and amongst some swearing and crude sex jokes but really nothing to make me go hahaha. The storyline really just seemed to plod along with the couple getting more miserable and miserable until they address their issue and finally try and figure out what's best for them in the essence of moving forward. Without spoiling it too much the ending seemed very rushed (as I always find with these films!) and didn't actually give much insight into whether they would move back to San Francisco together or if Tom would continue to support his seemingly selfish fiance and go back to Michigan where she could continue to go ahead with her own career.
Jason Segel as Tom was quite a believable character although I don't believe I have seen him in anything else. Emily Blunt as the forever giggling and smily Violet was well cast as the English "princess" who was definitely way out of his league. Surprisingly these two had really good chemistry and were 100% believable as a genuine couple and although she was 100 times more attractive than he was (I did struggle to see her attraction to him) I thought they executed their roles well and gave good insight into what I can only imagine a lot of couples battle with in terms of long distance relationships and making sacrifices in their relationships.
My main gripe with this film is that it seemed to play out more as a step by step diary in their relationship and how miserable they seemed to be getting and more distant rather than including any comedy to make it an enjoyable watch. I found the whole film played out rather one sidedly and she consistently seemed like the cow in the relationship while he was the wimpy, doormat partner and I really just wanted him to stand up for himself and tell her how he felt. I felt this film should have been better directed to make the comical scenes actually funny!
- Overall -
I wouldn't really recommend this film unless you are really bored and need some background noise to pass the time. It has a run time of 119 minutes but it feels like an age and never felt like it would end. It can be bought on DVD on amazon for a fiver but I really don't see the point in wasting your time you would be more entertained watching something that will actually make you giggle!
About the film
The Five Year Engagement is a romantic comedy film that was released in 2012. The film is rated 15 due to sexual content and bad language throughout and it has a run time of 124 minutes.
After only a year of being together, Tom proposes to girlfriend Violet, with her immediately saying yes. The couple live in San Francisco but when Violet gets offered her dream job at a Michigan college, Tom turns down a job as a head chef in order for Violet to fulfil her dreams. The move means having to postpone the wedding but only for a little while. However, in Michigan Tom has a hard time finding a job which suits his extensive skills as a chef. When Violet's job gets extended, Tom finds himself extremely frustrated and begins to lose himself and all hopes of actually getting to marry the women of his dreams. Violet's job extension begins to tear the couple, and their wedding date, apart, leaving them both to make some important decisions. Do these decisions include each other though?
Jason Segel as Tom Solomon
Emily Blunt as Violet Barnes
Rhys Ifans as Winton Childs
Chris Pratt as Alex Eilhauer
Alison Brie as Suzie Barnes-Eilhauer
Jacki Weaver as Sylvia Dickerson-Barnes
Jim Piddock as George Barnes
David Paymer as Pete Solomon
Mimi Kennedy as Carol Solomon
What I thought
I have to be really in the mood for a romantic comedy and recently, I have been so there was a bit of a list I tried to get through. The Five Year Engagement was pretty high up on that list.
This film wastes no time in getting straight to the point. We are quickly introduced to Tom and Violet who get engaged at the beginning of the film. While this doesn't give much time for getting to know the main characters, it does give a sense of what their relationship is like and what their life is like together. There is also a pretty cute flashback of how the couple met which is used a few more times throughout the film as well. Because of this start to the film, there is no chase between the guy and the girl like there is in a lot of romantic comedy films.
Violet was quite the hard character to like. The Five Year Engagement gives us somewhat of a role reversal in the sense that Tom and Violet move to a different city because of her job offer, not his. Although both characters have good careers, his more established, the decisions are made because of Violet. I felt like Violet was quite a selfish character because she didn't give Tom's options much thought at all before saying she wanted to move somewhere with not many options for him. Also, neither character thought to actually research the place they were moving to in order to make sure they would both be ok. Maybe they did and it wasn't shown, I don't know. Anyway, it seemed to me that Violet only really cared about her career and not at all about his. However, as much as I disliked the character, I did think that Emily Blunt did a great job in the role. She was funny when she needed to be but could also be quite serious.
Tom on the other hand, I loved. He came across as such a nice guy, being extremely thoughtful towards Violet and their relationship, especially as he gave up his dream job to move somewhere with her. He was obviously very considerate towards Violet but he did come over as a bit of a push over some of the time. He hardly ever spoke up for what he thought was right and just let Violet do whatever she wanted while he sat back and suffered. Jason Segel is fantastic as Tom and really shows what a good comedic actor he is. He timing was spot on with the jokes but he was also able to play serious really well at the same time.
Unfortunately, this film wasn't nearly as entertaining or funny as I had expected it to be. The jokes were pretty predictable and nothing was really exciting about the development of Tom and Violet's relationship. The whole story was pretty bland and I think that there could have been a few more unexpected twists thrown in to the story to make it more exciting. As the film is just over two hours long, without anything big happening, it makes the plot seem like it drags for quite some time. The first half of the film was pretty boring and I only stuck with watching it really because I couldn't be bothered to move and turn it off. The second half of the film was better though but still not great.
While this film was ok, it wasn't anywhere near great. The romance wasn't too good and neither were the jokes. This is definitely a film to buy only if you can get it really cheap.
After an interesting moment of walking into the wrong screen and being surrounded by children watching Ice Age for what felt like 10 minutes we eventually sat down to watch "The five year engagement" I had purposely not watched a trailer for this prior to viewing as sometimes I feel it gives away the best bits and you are just left with the missing "fill ins" to the puzzle which sometimes can be slightly disheartening. I had however, heard very good things about this film. Someone had told me it was deemed "The funniest film since bridesmaids" so looking back to that viewing, sat in the cinema crying my eyes out with laughter, it's fair to say I had pretty high expectations. Unfortunately those expectations weren't met. Here's why.....
THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT
Emily Blunt and Jason Segel take the main parts as the leading couple who decide to take a longer engagement than originally planned after some unexpected events occur. I have to say that Jason Segel is one of my favourite all time actors with "I love you man" and "forgetting Sarah Marshall" - two previous movies he has starred in being two of my all-time favourites. Meaning again, I had sky high expectations.
Having not seen the trailers I expected the film to be about two people possibly putting off the wedding with lots of comedy value, in actual fact they were wanting to get married but life kept throwing things at them meaning they had to keep putting it off, putting serious strain on their relationship and in the meantime "Emily's" sister gets married, has kids... to the "best man". To be honest it was a lot more serious than I had hoped, sure there were lots of funny parts and "laugh out loud moments" but again just not what I had hoped for.
Personally I would say it's more ROM than it is COM and after over 2 hours it ends up feeling more like a 25 year engagement rather than a 5 year engagement. The film starts out with the two Tom (Segel) and Violet (Blunt) living in San Francisco where Tom is a sous chef in a top restaurant, Violet is a student looking for a doctoral programme and of course in true movie fashion, she gets one, but it's far, far away in Michigan. Of course Tom agrees to move all the way over to Michigan to start a new life and they put off the wedding... after that we see adultery, extended stays, job rejections, family weddings, family deaths and everything else that comes with life. Tom turns into a depressed, crazy bearded hunter and they eventually go their separate ways.
I won't say too much but we do get to see a happy ending - although of course, we had all guessed there would be!! Walking out of the cinema I did feel a little disappointed, yes the cast were brilliant, the storyline worked and it did have plenty of comical moments - but there was something missing. I'm just not quite sure what exactly that was but I think it was the lack of comedy that I had expected. I don't think I would watch the film again, or at least I certainly wouldn't buy the DVD.
On reflection, I can only think that they possibly cut out a lot of scenes to keep the rating down to a 15 as I have been told a lot of things that were on the trailer weren't on the final film so it will be interesting to see if they come out with an unrated version, I still think the film would drag out though. I would say that the movie is around half an hour too long. Whilst this review is predominantly negative I would recommend it, but just think of it more as a drama with some funny inserts and I think you will enjoy it much more.