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Tanya Khoury: An everlasting proposal
May 25, 2012
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The season of high pitched, action adventure movies is at its peak with the summer movies lined up week in week out and this looks like it’s going to last for quite a bit after that. Therefore I found myself in a smaller theatre looking for another highly popular genre but with fewer children with obscene amounts of energy running around. Comedy and Romance is another favourite amongst the summer flicks with the regular movie goers. The Five-Year Engagement is yet another collaboration between writer/director Nicholas Stoller and actor/writer Jason Segel. The last film that I had seen with both those names was The Muppets and that left me all happy and filled with song.

This film stars Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt and Mad Men’s Trudy: Alison Brie. The story follows the lives of Segel and Blunt as the boyfriend (Tom) in the picture proposes to his girlfriend (Violet) and the everlasting wait of the engagement period begins. This is not your typical fluff of a comedy romance flick, first of all its rated R, so I had expected there to be some writing that would be considered offensive to the overly sensitive viewer ala Bridesmaids type of scenarios.

Relationships are the main context to which every joke or punch line is given in the story, we begin with the sweet journey and the excitement that newly engaged couples feel and slowly venture into darker times where both parties begin to question commitment, reality, love and the whole works. The theme of the movie is spot on as there are several scenarios that the couple on screen shares with the many couples sitting at the theatre watching. There are quite a few subplots involving Brie as Violet’s sibling and the not so bright Pratt as Segel’s best friend.

As the film progresses from slapstick humour to realistic scenarios and what not I felt a dip in the consistency, there are too many scenes that just drag on and feel unnecessary that it just brings the film to unwanted pauses and as it started to stretch a over a good hour and a half I wanted the film to have another edit. From the comedy and romance aspect there is a lot there, especially with the cast portraying all the different personalities around, and many people I assume did not expect the film to turn a serious angle, definitely not after all the situations that Segel’s character finds himself in, but the matter of fact is that you do get into the story more once they all begin to question themselves.  This doesn’t last long though, Hollywood always finds the cheese and pours it in generously and the audience gets back to laughing.

As a package I thought the film did better than I had originally anticipated, and since I like most of the cast I didn’t particularly mind all the cheese. It is what it is and what it is is a fun film at the end of the day. This is what going to the movies generally is about, I wasn’t looking for a serious hard core drama to get me into thinking too much, I was looking for light watching and it delivered on that front. Of course it wasn’t one of those laugh out loud funnies but the cast made it work. The chemistry was not too put on and like I said I didn’t mind it. If you are looking to get out of the fantasy comic book genre and have a little laugh I recommend this one. 6/10.
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