DIRECTOR: Nicholas Stoller
May Contain Spoilers!
Jason Siegel, who stars alongside Emily Blunt as the couple with The Five-Year Engagement seemed to have a lot to do with this. He has a screen-writing credit, as well as a Producer but this only serves to make this feel very much like a vanity project, certainly for Siegel and maybe even for Blunt, both of whom have worked together before, notably in Gulliver’s Travels.
I quite like Emily Blunt, though I like her more as Emily than any of her characters, which doesn’t say much about my faith in her and acting, but this is in part due to her very English delivery of her lines regardless of the setting. Her voice is really starting to grate on me now, as are here inflections which seem to be there to play to the U.S. audience.
The film though, is okay. It has its funny moments but they are more gentle and fail offer enough insight in to the character’s relationships. The story is simple; Two lover meet one year, propose the next and spend the next five years putting off their wedding due to life altering events and obstacles being put in their path.
But even though there are moments of enlightenment and insights into relationships that many of us will find familiar, they are explored in a very flat manner, almost simply acknowledged rather than looked at or even dealt with. The last twenty minutes is ludicrous, out of touch with the rest of the film and is a massive contrivance, simply there to wrap the film up in a happy way (SPOILER!).
But having said that, there are some genuinely funny moments here too, as fingers are chopped off in cooling accidents, crossbow bolts are fired by children, Bambi’s mum get’s shot and the whole emotional breakdown segment of Siegel’s character. The other thing wrong with this, is all but a brief hairstyle change from Blunt, AFTER the five-year engagement has ended, there’s very little evidence of the passage of time besides being told.
But the shinning light of this film has to be Alison Brie who plays Blunt’s sister. She is an American who according to Blunt, shunned her language coach in favour of copying her. Well, she needn’t have bothered, as this resulted in Brie simply mimicking Emily which did sound a bit off, but still, besides this hiccup, she was a breath of fresh air, both comedically and charismatically in a film which otherwise, was stilted, contrived and not as funny nor insightful as it thought it was.
Jason Siegel should really stick to his second-rate TV show, How I Met Your Mother and Emily Blunt really needs to start doing more with her voice. Neither of which managed to fully hold this film as they should.