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The Five-Year Engagement



Released: 22nd June 2012

Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt

Certificate: 15

Reviewed By: Ben Harris

It’s got all the right names attached to it – Jason Segel, Emily Blunt and Judd Apatow, yet ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ turns out to be an underwhelming comedy. When you look at the rom-com side of it however, it succeeds – that’s if you forget the formulaic structure.

Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) become engaged after one year of being together. The much-anticipated wedding is put on hold as Violet is accepted at the University of Michigan, which Tom is willing to support. But over a period of time unforeseen circumstances continuously put their marriage on hold.

That plot is destined for a predictable outcome and ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ certainly falls victim to it. The plot twists that pop up in romance films (happy beginning, strained middle, happy ending) appear in full force here, however the dialogue saves it from tipping over the edge.

Segel and fellow screenwriter Nicholas Stoller (also the director) form honest and believable conversations, which produces realistic and relatable characters. The interaction between cast members comes across so natural that you forgive the film for its conventional story.

The dialogic writing doesn’t just deserve applause; it’s also the wonderful cast. Segel does his usual nice, yet flawed, guy routine whilst Emily Blunt attracts every eye in the room. Her beauty and genuine persona sucks you in and there is no denying she will have your full attention. Then we have your typical funny best friend and sister duo – Chris Pratt and Alison Brie. These two are given the humour heavy dialogue/scenarios, leaving Segel and Blunt glued in rom-com mode.

Nevertheless, the sweetness of the story wins you over. The chemistry between the leads holds ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ together and by the end you encourage this relationship.

Don’t go in with high expectation for a crude comedy (like previous Apatow projects) or you’ll be disappointed for sure. ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ is in fact a slightly more mature and charming rom-com.


Fan of ‘Jason Segel’? MM reviews for ‘The Muppets’ and ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’

Fan of ‘Emily Blunt’? MM review for ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

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