Film Review: The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

five year engagement

Directed by Nicholas Stoller, The Five-Year Engagement had one wonderful thing going for it. It’s the reason all women flock to the cinema: the delightful and loveable Jason Segel who plays Tom, the selfless good guy fiancé of the selfish, boring, and thoughtless shrew that is Violet (Emily Blunt).

Engaged after a year, the wedding is put off for Violet to follow her dreams and the two move to Michigan where she is offered an important position.

Firstly, the film is far too long.  The second and most unappealing and appalling problem is the message it sends to women: ‘you should get married and it’ll all work out in the end’ no matter how bad or dysfunctional that relationship is.

Writers Segel and Stoller have completely underestimated their female target audience. There’s no concept of a real future between Tom and Violet and at no point do they actually have a conversation that has any meaning whatsoever.  They are distant and clearly fall out of love. They are completely infuriating and insipid.

For a romantic comedy it was neither romantic nor comedic nor was it quirky or witty. The jokes are crass and fall completely flat to the point where several people left the cinema.  I wish I was one of them. It followed with running gags that didn’t make anyone laugh the first time let alone any time after. Instead the audience was left shaking their heads in disbelief of its pure stupidity. The characters were unbelievable and their story just plain pathetic bordering on idiotic.

Fans of Jason Segel should avoid this utter disgrace so his goofy, fun loving image isn’t tarnished for the rest of time.  This is his Battlefield Earth. The dialogue is trite and there were awkward gaps for no good reason, other than the script itself was as poor as the cast.

Its pure badness was a complete disappointment as its main idea of a long engagement, could and would have made a really wonderful story but was unapologetically dumbed down to appeal to basic, unintelligent individuals who have no concept of reality.   Aiming to please the lowest common denominator of human detritus leaves little enjoyment for anyone else.

The Five Year Engagement was released in cinemas on 3 May through Universal Pictures.

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