Today: February 21, 2024

The Five Year Engagement

It’s common knowledge by now that Emily Blunt is the nicest lady in Hollywood.

It’s common knowledge
by now that Emily Blunt is the nicest lady in Hollywood.
When she’s not
playing princesses and cutthroat fashionistas she’s setting up her mate Stanley Tucci with her sister and
looking adorable next to husband John
. Now she’s having a bash at being a comic and she hasn’t done
badly at all.

Penned by and co-starring the disgustingly nice Jason Segel, The Five-Year
follows the troubles and woes of Blunt’s Violet and Segel’s
Tom as they dally between romance and personal gain when Violet’s academic
commitments cause Tom to up and leave a promising career as a chef.

All the Apatow boxes are ticked; think the insecurities of
the Paul Rudd/Leslie Mann subplot in Knocked Up
only funnier and charming. Where Segel’s sickly-sweet persona at times gives
the old gag reflex a good workout his intentions are good and he works very
well against Blunt’s disarming nature and genuinely funny presence.

The supporting ensemble cast are perfect; Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt is a lovable butthead playing the token guy friend and Community’s superb Alison
polishes off a British accent admirably stepping in as Violet’s
neurotic sister Suzie (a scene where Violet and Suzie are forced to confront
each other in Elmo and Cookie Monster voices is one of the best).

The major flaw is that the film is just too long. The title may be The Five-Year
Engagement but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Big sections involving Tom’s
isolation and self-pity could be hacked away but Segel insists that his
character gets as much sympathy as possible, swallowing up some of the more
tender moments between Tom and Violet (even Blunt declaring “I want to get
weird with you” next to a pile of snow is oddly pretty) leaving you thinking
perhaps Violet would be better off turning to her lovely Welsh professor
(played by an unquestionably likable Rhys

That said, The Five-Year Engagement is the perfect example
of a pleasant film. There are no wars or social divides separating Tom or
Violet just a set of very normal problems that aren’t really anyone’s fault.
Aside from some over-indulgence regarding the central male, there’s no bad
feelings towards anyone and the only peril suffered is Blunt taking an arrow to
her wonderful buttock. Lads would probably do well to steer clear of this one
as you’re not going to be tickled by any fart jokes but for those looking for a
thoroughly nice, undemanding comedy this is an ideal way to spend an evening.

Beth Webb - Events Editor

I aim to bring you a round up of the best film events in the UK, no matter where you are or what your preference. For live coverage of events across London, follow @FilmJuice

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