Lurking somewhere inside the over two hours of The Five-Year Engagement is a better film trying to get out.
Jason Segel and Emily Brunt start the film where most romantic comedies end, with an agreement to get married. But life keeps interfering. They live in San Francisco and she gets a great job offer in Michigan so they move there. He’s a talented chef but now has to make deli sandwiches and take up hunting to survive Michigan’s bitter winters (pretty laughable to a Canadian).
Meanwhile Blunt’s sister has a shotgun marriage and has a family while all the grandparents die off waiting for the wedding that doesn’t happen till you know when. They almost marry, separate, get together, etc.; you’ve seen this part of the film many times before.
But there is a lot to like in the movie. Segel (who also co-scripted) and Blunt are appealing and work well together. There’s an excellent supporting cast. There is also a lot of humour, some funny lines and goofy situations, and if you don’t mind the penis jokes, it is often very entertaining. However, some of the humour doesn’t work and some scenes go on way too long. This reviewer could have done without all the sideplots about Blunt’s fellow psychology students, for example.
Blunt and Segel’s charm and likability go a long way. However, this is a movie that will play better on the small screen.
Rating: three deer out of five
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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.