A comedy about the journey between popping the question and tying the knot.
Clement von Franckenstein
Eric Scott Cooper
Running Time: 124 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
The Five-Year Engagement perfectly follows the Judd Apatow mould as it takes a decent idea adds some good writing and likeable characters but then stretches it over an unrelenting runtime until it has had any enjoyment sucked out of it. If it was more compact, The Five-Year Engagement could have been Apatow’s best work to date, but unfortunately it’s the same old story.
Apatow once again teams up with doughy, everyman Jason Segel who plays Tom, a loveable sous chef, who proposes to Violet, his girlfriend (Blunt) on the one year aniversary of meeting her. They begin planning the wedding but things take a turn for the worse when she is invited to do her post-doctoral studies in Michigan and so the pair up sticks and postpone the wedding. This is only the first hurdle as lots of things (and I mean lots) just keep getting in their way thereby prolonging the engagement (and movie) by years.
Generally, The Five-Year Engagement is pretty funny with enough gags to make the best part of it enjoyable and it’s also quite a good concept (for the rom-com genre anyway) and is decently executed. A big reason for the long runtime being a stumbling block is the quite depressing tone of the movie with only the beginning and end really lifting the stretched-out gloom of two people now being able to get the finishing line – a feeling that the audience will easily be able to sympathise with by the end.
The central pair are likeable, have decent banter and do share a fair bit of chemistry. They’re well-written characters with an authentic feel and snappy dialogue – something that Apatow normally does right. A few laughs and cringes are offered up by a gaggle of hit-and-miss oddball peripheral characters, including Tom’s sweary boss (Posehn) and Ming (Park), Violet’s crazy research partner who’s just not that funny.
It's Got: Some good characters, some not so good, a fair few well-written gags
It Needs: Most importantly to be shorter and more compact
Like much of Apatow’s work, this is too long to be enjoyable. With a more compact runtime and less oddbal characters flying around, it could have been much better.