The Five-Year Engagement

First Hit:  There are moments of smart writing and acting intermingled with waiting for the next good scene.

Having just been through an engagement and recently married it was fun to see how this imaginary couple handled their engagement and hopefully marriage.

I loved the scene of how Violet (played by Emily Blunt) and Tom (played by Jason Segel) met at a New Year’s eve party where they were supposed to be dressed as their favorite superhero.

Violet was dressed as Princes Diana while he was dressed in a big pink bunny outfit with a crudely taped “Super Bunny” label across his chest. This sets this couple up as an unconventional couple that will find their own way.

Tom, being dressed as a big bunny gives the impression that he is in-touch with his feelings. He’s a sous chef at a high-end restaurant in San Francisco, while she is in a doctorate course at UC Berkeley. Their engagement dinner was a well-written scene. They are planning to get married but then she gets an invite to work on her doctorate program in Michigan. They put off their marriage for 2 years for her to finish this program, he quits his job and they head to Michigan.

Some of the scenes here are convoluted and I don’t think required (IE: All the hunting scenes and his wearing a very ugly homemade sweater). While her career flourishes his fades into despair. In the end they have to decide what is right for them and their relationship.

This film could have gotten their in a more interesting and crisper way, but it didn’t. However, as indicated in my “First Hit” there are moments of brilliance in the writing and direction.

Blunt is well cast and unfortunately some scenes are not written well enough to have it work. Her smile and laugh are her biggest asset. Segel was good at times but seemed to lack life or interest in the film as well as in the character. Yes this could be exactly what the director wanted but when I have a thought that he really doesn't care about not caring, a red light goes on for me. It was if he was going through the motions). Chris Pratt, as Alex, was strong as his best friend and fellow chef. Alison Brie, as Suzie was very watchable as Violet's sister. Jason Segel wrote an occasionally strong script while also wasting time with other material (IE Sweaters) that didn’t really add to the film. Nicholas Stoller directed the film which was too long for the material they covered.

Overall: Might be worth a Sunday evening kind of film to watch on video.