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Movie Review: “The Five Year Engagement”

Written by Jason Segel and Nick Stoller, who also directed the movie, The Five Year Engagement should be the movie that makes you want to laugh so loud that your body will breakdown from all the shaking going on. Between the two of them we’ve seen plenty of brilliantly written movies over the years – Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppetts, Fun with Dick and Jane. Add to that long time Segel fan and friend Judd Apatow as the Producer behind this and other movies such as  Bridesmaids, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The 40-Year Old Virgin, and Pineapple Express and you’d think that this would be the recipe for another hit. Yet The Five Year Engagement falls flat and can’t really seem to shake itself out to become the movie we want it to be.

The plot is relatively simple.  Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) have been dating for a year after meeting on News Year’s Eve. On that very night a year later, Tom and Violet get engaged. However the twist is that they don’t have any plans for their wedding and thus have ups and downs over a five year stretch on their way to the “big day.”

So what could go wrong with this premise? Answer: A lot!

The first problem at hand is the length of the movie. Just because it’s called The Five Year engagement doesn’t mean the movie has to feel as if it is taking a full five years to play out. Coming in at just over two hours (124 minutes to be exact) this could have easily been cut down by a good 30-40 minutes. Just because you have a long run time doesn’t mean that you need to include everything that they do during the five years to show the passage of time. In essence you’re just killing us, the audience, with boredom and a cheep joke thrown in just to prove a point that was made two scenes earlier.

The next problem is related to Jason Segel. Enough of showing us your naked rear. It was funny the first time in Forgetting Sarah Marshall but three times in this movie is more then enough. Yes you do a good job portraying the “every man” but dude…seriously…you need some help. Also, enough of you and the sex scenes as well. The montage of you with Audrey (Dakota Johnson) felt very creepy and as my girlfriend put it…felt like we were watching a real tape of the two of you.

Lastly and not the least was the tone of the film. Yeah there were some good laughs and some damn funny sequences. But there were a lot of dark tones and themes that just made this hard to sit through. Life is rough and hard and sometimes we have to make sacrifices and I fully understand that. But don’t give us this roller coaster of a story with funny one minute and hard to sit through the next crap. There was no consistency at all and because of this the ending was just absurd and quite frankly, too happy after all that happened for the previous two hours.

The Five Year Engagement is Rated R for sexual content and language throughout.

Rating = 2.5 out of 5 stars

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