Sunday, January 6, 2013

Five Year Engagement

Funny man director Nicholas Stoller has been associated with R-rated comedy from his start with "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (2008) and "Get Him to the Greek" (2010) and continues with "The Five-Year Engagement" with one of his best friends and co-writer Jason Segel.

In San Francisco, after a year's relationship, Tom (Jason Segel) proposes to Violet (Emily Blunt); she accepts.  Then the rest of the movie happens as their relationship is tested by their careers, times and distance.  Violet is an academic psychologist that after not being accepted for her post-doctorate at the University of California she receives an offer from the University of Michigan.  Tom is a sous chef with a prospective career as an executive chef.  Tom agrees to support the move, turning down a job as chef at a new restaurant and agreeing to postpone their wedding.  When two years in Michigan become four, Tom's frustrations boil over.

While the relationship between Tom and Violet is stalling, her sister Suzie (Alison Brie) hooks up with Tom's best friend Alex (Chris Pratt) and they get married with a baby on the way.  Watching the transformation of Tom from a high-end chef to a lazy and unmotivated slacker is reflective of the psychological experiment that Violet performs for her research.  It is laughable how ugly they are able to make Jason Segel, as his hair is wildly gruff when he becomes a hunter and brings that lifestyle extremely over the top with every aspect of the house involving the deer.

The  performance from everyone were absolutely on the mark creating perfect chemistry between friends, partners, and colleagues.  I especially enjoyed Chris Pratt when he said he was drinking out of Chewbacca's dick I couldn't stop laughing.  As crazy as Chris Pratt is in the film, he is perfectly complimented by Alison Brie who isn't even British yet has the accent through the film so that she can be convincing as the sister of Emily Blunt.  Having such a powerful actress as Jacki Weaver as the mother, I wanted more, but perhaps that can be saved in a sequel some day. 

While I enjoyed that the film didn't fall under the same patterns that most romantic comedies do, the film still hits most of the key elements of having a perfect couple that break-up only to find themselves together again.  The film does drag out as it takes its time in allowing Tom and Violet to find each other again.  It feels that the director knew how he wanted to start and finish the film, but that the middle was contrived resulting in just a 3 Quack film.  And of course with most R-rated comedies there are a bunch of fun quotes and on the DVD there are a lot of bonus features and deleted scenes making it worth while. 

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