Initially I was put off watching The Five-Year Engagement because I couldn’t stand Emily Blunt. I don’t know what it is about her I disliked so much, in fact that’s a lie, it’s because I’m insanely jealous of her successful acting career. It’s the reason I dislike most actresses really. That, and the fact most of them are incredibly beautiful. But before the green-eyed monster rears its ugly head and I end up going off on a self-pitying tangent I’ll get back to my Emily Blunt point. It turns out she is the best thing about The Five-Year Engagement. She surprised me with a charismatic and somewhat naturalistic performance. I found it really engaging. I’m almost tempted to go back and watch her other films.
But there is more to this film that Emily Blunt; in fact there are plenty of great things about it.
Firstly it’s penned by comedy writing duo Jason Segal and Nicholas Stoller who’ve worked previously together on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets, and Get Him to the Greek; some of the best and most memorable comedies in recent years. Segal also stars as one half of romantic coupling Tom Solomon who proposes to Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt) only for their wedding plans to be put on hold when Violet lands her dream job in freezing Michigan; miles away from their home in San Francisco. The couple up-sticks and move to Michigan, leaving behind Tom’s job as a successful chef where he is about to be promoted. It’s a major blow for Tom and as expected tension between the two mounts
It’s not the most original narrative, and it’s full of stereotypical characters; from the groomsman’s womanising best friend, divorced, feuding, and bitter parents, to the annoying sister of the bride. But still there’s a refreshing element to it. There are a few surprises in there and some oddball characters you wouldn’t expect which definitely make The Five-Year Engagement stand out. And for a comedy that’s incredibly funny and entertaining it’s also really touching. It’s not an out-and-out comedy and I think that’s what sets it apart from films of a similar ilk. It’s not simply a throw away film but one that should stay with you even after it’s finished. I know it has with me. It’s even given me a few ideas for when I get married. Not that I’m getting married anytime soon.
It’s has a pretty awesome soundtrack that includes Mark Ronson, Tokyo Police Club, The Postelles, Billy Idol, and Van Morrison; with my favourite song of theirs Sweet Thing. It’s setting, from the golden corn fields, clear rivers, and quaint cottages of Rural San Francisco, to the chill, snow-covered streets of Michigan, are stunning, breath-taking really. And for a lengthy film it doesn’t drag, in fact it goes by quite quick.
The Five-Year engagement ticks all the right boxes unless you’re looking for an action packed sci-fi film. In which case a dozen other films like that are out that you can watch.
It’s a fun film, moving, beautifully written, and well cast. It’s another reason to like Jason Segal, and the first reason to like Emily Blunt (for me anyway.)
It’s definitely one of the best Rom-Com’s I’ve seen.