Film review: 'The Five Year Engagement'

05 October 2012 - 02:01 By Robbie Colin, ©The Daily Telegraph
Jason Segel and Emily Blunt play a freshly engaged couple in the drawn out romcom 'The Five Year Engagement'
Jason Segel and Emily Blunt play a freshly engaged couple in the drawn out romcom 'The Five Year Engagement'

Emily Blunt has been a welcome presence at the cinema ever since her seductive, enigmatic break-out performance in Pawel Pawlikowski's My Summer of Love in 2004.

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie

She has consistently been the best thing in otherwise fair-to-middling work: her infectious charm has enlivened everything from science fiction ( The Adjustment Bureau ) to costume drama ( The Young Victoria ).

So again it proves with The Five Year Engagement, a raunchy, perilously overlong romantic comedy co-written by its star Jason Segel and director Nicholas Stoller.

Blunt and Segel play Violet and Tom, a freshly engaged couple who move from San Francisco to darkest Michigan when she wins a temporary research post at the state university. Tom gives up his job in the kitchen of a fashionable restaurant, but as Violet's contract is extended resentment starts to fester, and the couple's wedding date telescopes ever-further into the distance.

The Five Year Engagement comes, so the posters tell us, "from the producer of Bridesmaids", Judd Apatow, and it plays like a compilation of deleted scenes not sharp enough to be considered for that film.

The set-piece gags, which include a heart-to-heart between Violet and her sister (Alison Brie) in the voices of Sesame Street characters, are laboured, and the supporting cast, from Tom's lewd best friend (Chris Pratt) to Violet's colleagues (Mindy Kaling, Randall Park, Kevin Hart), might have been copied and pasted from any other second-rate romcom.

Most disappointingly is the way Tom and Violet's love rivals - Rhys Ifans'social sciences professor and Dakota Johnson's pneumatic waitress - both make an unlikely lurch into villainhood to expedite a blandly happy ending. Segel and Stoller should have been bolder.



IF YOU'RE looking for depth and profundity, this is the wrong movie. But under the direction of David Koepp, this is an expert and spellbinding adventure. - Chicago Sun-Times


ORIGINALLY a radio story, book and TV series, this film is about a woman who finds herself living with a creepy family in their eerie hotel. - Staff reporter


IT BRILLIANTLY captures the passions, debauchery, occasional glimpses of nobility and ultimately the chaos that engulfed the court of Marie Antoinette. - Rotten Tomatoes


A GRUNGY, likably disreputable action drama from Mel Gibson. - The Hollywood Reporter