Guest / Limited Access /
The Five-Year Engagement
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
(3 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (for sexual content, and language throughout)
Genre
Directed By
Nicholas Stoller
Run Time
2 hours 4 minutes
Cast
Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie
Theatre Release
April 27, 2012 by Universal Pictures

As a producer, Judd Apatow rarely triumphs. The American Jewish filmmaker finds funny ideas and the right people to make them work, but the strong moralism of the movies he directs himself—40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, especially—doesn't translate, usually resulting in off-color junk. The Five-Year Engagement, the latest from Apatow Productions, almost proves to be an exception. The new romantic comedy by director Nicholas Stoller not only plays for genuine laughs, but it also makes pertinent points about our culture's struggle with commitment, specifically in marriage. It gets things mostly right—and, of course, a few things wrong.

Written by Stoller and Jason Segel (who last co-wrote and starred in the wholesom The Muppets), the story details the five-year engagement of Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt) and Tom Solomon (Segel). They're clearly in love, but the problem—the prolonged engagement—turns out to be themselves. Before settling down, Violet wants to pursue a career in academia as a psychology professor, while Tom wants to be a successful chef. Their separate paths don't sync, leading to a difficult transition from San Francisco to Michigan, causing contempt and discontent. They put their marriage, and their relationship, on hold.

This plot alone doesn't stand out as smart or funny; it's mostly contrived and predictable and, at times, divergent. In the disconnected moments, like Tom growing a beard and becoming a deer hunter to deal with his unhappiness, Stoller doesn't trust his story, his characters, or his audience. Instead, he goes on random tangents, trying to sustain our interest. These deviations make the comedic style uneven—sometimes leaving its rom-com roots for a more ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueNew & Noteworthy Books
Subscriber Access Only
New & Noteworthy Books
Compiled by Matt Reynolds
Current IssueThe Painful Questions about Genetics and Race
Subscriber Access Only
The Painful Questions about Genetics and Race
Mistrust of medicine clouds possibility of treatment for sickle-cell
TrendingTrump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Trump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Prestonwood Baptist diverts denominational giving over concerns about Russell Moore’s ERLC.
Editor's PickWhy Africa Needed Its Own Study Bible
Why Africa Needed Its Own Study Bible
And why Americans might want one too.
Christianity Today
The Five-Year Engagement
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

April 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.