THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT

GOOD FOR A LAUGH

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Jess Fenton
3rd May 2012

Why is it that movies always end at the best part? The couple kiss and walk off into the sunset about to start the rest of their lives together and then the credits start rolling. Some may argue that what follows is known in the industry as 'porn' - but Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, the dynamic writing duo behind ‘The Muppets’ and ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, thought differently.

In the spirit of ‘Snakes on a Plane’, ‘The Five-Year Engagment’ is in fact about a five year engagement (and then some). Our happy couple try desperately to make their lives work when Violet is offered a placement at the University of Michigan, meaning Tom has to leave his job as soux-chef to one of San Francisco’s hottest restaurants. Together they watch the people in their lives get married, have children and grandparents fall off the perch as their own wedded bliss gets delayed further and further.

THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT - TRAILER

As with most Apatow films, much credit belongs to the scene stealing co-stars. ‘Community’s’ Alison Brie alongside Chris Pratt, Chris Parnell, Brian Posehn, Rhys Ifans, Mindy Kaling and the rest of the whacky postdoc Psychology clan all fill our stars' lives with whacky memorable characters.

Having worked together twice before, Segel and Blunt’s implicit trust in one another as co-stars is evident, especially knowing that Segel wrote the part for just her - their real life friendship and admiration for each other's works makes each actor shine on screen.

Alongside the film's obvious comic elements, it also tackles the not-so-light side of a committed relationship. For once, we see a man follow a woman across country and as a result, his position as the man of the house, his purpose in life and the partnership become compromised. While played for laughs, the story itself is no less serious and the exploration of such a topic is handled with a sense of humility and understanding. What happens when love really isn’t enough? This is a realistic look at just what does happen when one side thrives while the other flounders and ultimately looses them self in the process of being “understanding” and “supportive” to their partner.

Alongside the film's obvious comic elements, it also tackles the not-so-light side of a committed relationship.

This film has a tone of laugh-out-loud moments, as you would come to expect from this team. The physical comedy side also has some shining moments from all players - but at just a smidgen over two hours in length, the film doesn’t lag but it's still too long, and the ending feels a little detached and rushed.

This movie is an ode to "what happens after the credits have rolled", and a slap in the face to that old adage ‘life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans’. While maybe not as standout or memorable as this team’s previous efforts, ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ is definitely enjoyable and good for a laugh.

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