My biggest complaint about ‘The Five Year Engagement’ is that it is too LONG! No matter how many cutesy, funny or weird scenes they throw at us; this film doesn’t have enough substance to run for such a lengthy amount of time. Although very little changes throughout these five years, the passing of time is definitely felt and despite of the fact that there are various funny scenes and the characters are so patient the weight of time and tension in the story is easily felt by the public. For people that like romantic comedies and insist on going to the movies this weekend at least this might be a better pick than ‘The Lucky One’, although your money would be better invested in ‘Think Like a Man’.
This is the story of Violet (Emily Blunt) and Tom (Jason Segel) who live in San Francisco; he’s a chef and she’s a psychology student. They are madly in love and after a year of being together Tom pops the question, the couple starts to prepare for the event when Violet is offered a once in a lifetime opportunity at the University of Michigan. This complicates things but lovingly Tom supports her by putting the wedding on hold and moving to Michigan with her. In Michigan each one tries to cope with the change and every time they try to restart planning the wedding some other opportunity or obstacle comes up. The couple begins to have many ups and downs, which test their relationship and the whole movie revolves in finding out if their relationship is strong enough to survive and reach the final step or if they will break up.
There are countless funny scenes; one my favorite is between Violet and Suzie (Alison Brie) who plays her sister, when they have a serious talk in an Elmo and Cookie Monster voice. Most of the vulgar and strange comments come from Alex (Chris Pratt) who doesn’t seem to have a filter and always lightens the mood. Although there is chemistry between Blunt and Segel some of their conversations felt rehearsed and awkward, but that might have been more of a problem with the script than their acting.
The problem with having a five-year relationship on screen is having to live through the drama that’s obvious to appear, although there’s a lot of comic relief through it, when it reaches the lowest point there’s no comedy to save it. Most of the twists in the movie are pretty predictable, which makes the length even more unnecessary.
As a romantic comedy this isn’t a bad film, but it certainly doesn’t stand out from the rest. At the end we are left with some minor questions, that I was okay to not have the answers to, because it might have meant another ten minutes. The biggest lesson this film gives us is very simple: in order for every relationship to work both people must be happy with their lives in order to be happy with each other. Long engagements are not such a rare thing nowadays, which means this movie might have some people curious to see it, but I would say there’s no need to run to the movie theater to catch this film; it might satisfy you a little more in a few months when it comes out in DVD.