The Five-Year Engagement Reviews
"The Five-Year Engagement" dutifully hits the marks of its genre, but it is also about the unpredictability of life and the everyday challenges of love. The sensitivity and honesty with which it addresses those matters is a pleasant surprise.
I liked "The Five-Year Engagement," and then I didn't, and then I did - which seems just about right for a movie dedicated to examining how even the purest affections can be fatally derailed.
Like Apatow's "Funny People," the film is an intentional hybrid: half gag comedy, half open-ended exploration of everything that can go wrong -- and occasionally right -- between two people whom nature, if not society, means to be together.
This story of a promising sous chef who sacrifices his career in San Francisco to follow his girlfriend to Ann Arbor delivers a steady stream of character laughs, along with a rigidly formulaic plot.
Between the jokes about drinking mead out of deer hoofs, about tiny tykes armed with crossbows, about meeting cute in a bunny suit and a Princess Di getup, there's serious stuff to consider.
"The Five-Year Engagement" doesn't always work - some of the supporting characters' storylines feel clipped, and the improvised bits could afford to be tightened - but the trip to the altar pays off.
While Segel and Blunt make likable enough leads, the strain is visible as the filmmakers try to make comedic hay out of disconnected segments, contrived situations and tangential characters.
Engagement gets the most important thing right, which is the lead casting: Segel and Blunt are completely convincing as Tom and Violet, star-crossed lovers. They really do care for each other, but life seems to be conspiring against them.