The Five-Year Engagement (Universal)
Rated R for sexual content, and language throughout.
Starring Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, Jacki Weaver, Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, Brian Posehn, Chris Parnell, David Paymer, Mimi Kennedy, Dakota Johnson.
Written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller.
Directed by Nicholas Stoller.
Judd Apatow is at it again...and again. The man who got the ball rolling with The 40-Year-Old Virgin has built a comedy brand that keeps churning out films based on crude humor and a little bit of charm. His latest (produced) effort is The Five-Year Engagement, the story of a young betrothed coupe who can't quite make it to the altar.
Jason Segel plays Tom, a San Francisco chef in love with Violet (Emily Brunt) who is trying to get into a graduate psychology school. Tom proposes, and Violet accepts, but their plans hit a snag when Violet is accepted into a graduate program at the University of Michigan. Despite a successful career, Tom agrees to hold off on the wedding and follow Violet to Ann Arbor.
Tom soon discovers that life in Michigan is a much worse place than San Francisco, especially for a chef, but he tried to make the best of it, as Violet succeeds in her studies under department head Winton (Rhys Ifans).
Adding to the couple's marriage malaise is the fact that Violet's sister Suzie (Alison Brie) has since hooked up with Tom's buddy Alex (Chris Pratt), gotten married and born children (not necessarily in that order), providing a contrast. As Tom tries to make the best of the situation, he begins to resent his misfortune caused by Violet's successes and the couple begins to drift apart, culminating with a moment of weakness between Violet and Winton.
Tom and Voilet break up and Tom heads back to San Francisco where he begins dating the young Audrey (Dakota Johnson) as Violet moves in with Winton.
But things with their new mates aren't exactly blissful, as Tom and Violet pine for each other.
Will they get back together?
The Five-Year Engagement is as formulaic as a host of many other romantic comedies, and just as forgettable. The only difference between your garden variety rom-com and an Apatow project is you get more substantially higher portion of f-bombs and coital moments, along with a script that seems very much improvised (Segel gets writing credit with director Nicholas Stoller).
The apparently extemporaneous story and script contribute to feelings of boredom throughout The Five-Year Engagement, which lives up to its name in terms of the viewing experience. There are funny moments of dialogue and a few gags that work, but The Five-Year Engagement is just another film in the Apatow machine that can't be saved by the charming talents of Segel and Blunt.