MovieMantz Review: ‘The Five-Year Engagement’

“It’s Not Engaging Enough”

“The Five-Year Engagement”

Jason Segel, Emily Blunt

Directed by Nicholas Stoller

In “The Five-Year Engagement,” Jason Segel slowly loses his patience, his identity and eventually his sanity when his engagement to Emily Blunt drags on and on with no end in sight. Seeing as how the same could be said about the movie, we feel his pain.

That’s too bad, since the film reunites the team behind 2008’s hit romantic comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” – star Segel, producer Judd Apatow and director Nicholas Stoller (Segel and Stoller also co-wrote the screenplay). But what starts off as a worthy follow-up to “Marshall” eventually unravels with a contrived, uneven and over-long walk down the aisle that not even the chemistry between Segel and Blunt can save.

Segel plays Tom, a sous chef at a popular San Francisco restaurant, while Blunt plays Violet, a post grad student at UC Berkeley. Tom pops the question, and Violet happily accepts. But the wedding gets temporarily delayed when Emily gets an offer she can’t refuse: a postdoctoral assignment in social psychology at the University of Michigan. Tom selflessly quits his job so Emily can seize the new opportunity, but soon after they relocate to Michigan, they drift apart, and their bond begins to unravel. What will it take to make things perfect again, so they can get their wedding back on track?

Between its bumpy road-to-the-wedding-based plot and the bold pink-colored lettering being used in the advertising of its title, “The Five-Year Engagement” is shamelessly being promoted as the next “Bridesmaids.” Even the tagline proudly boasts that it’s “from the producer of ‘Bridesmaids,’” setting up expectations that “Engagement” will be more of the same.

But it’s no “Bridesmaids,” which was a smarter and far superior film in almost every way. “Engagement” has its laugh-out-loud funny moments while examining the compromises that must be made in order to make a relationship work, but the pacing can be slow at times, and the too-long 2 hour and 4 minute running time is a serious detriment to the humor, charm and goodwill established in the first half of the movie.

And though the supporting performances are worth mentioning – particularly Chris Pratt (“Moneyball”) as Segel’s hard-partying best friend and Alison Brie (TV’s “Community”) as Blunt’s free-spirited younger sister – the whole affair overstays its welcome, dragging on and on with no end in sight. As a result, “The Five-Year Engagement” turns out to be a disappointment – and, unfortunately, one that’s not nearly engaging enough.

Verdict: SKIP IT!

-- Scott Mantz

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