Old 01-13-2010, 07:02 PM
Anand Tucker's Leap Year

Here's the link to my review in my column at The Richmond Examiner:


Leap Year (2010)

At first, it looked like Anand Tucker's "Leap Year" would be another painfully predictable rom-com that would be as bad as "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" Fortunately, only part of that statement is true. Yes, it's incredibly predictable, but luckily, it's not nearly as bad as the previously mentioned film. That being said, the predictability still stands.

Anna (Amy Adams) and her boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) appear to be in a very loving relationship. They have just applied for an apartment in a very prestigious building in Boston and are looking forward to living together. Anna is also awaiting the day when he proposes to her, and according to a friend of hers, that day will be soon as she spotted him coming out of a jewelry store. At dinner, he presents her with what he got there, a pair of diamond earrings. Very soon after, he must go to a medical conference in Ireland, leaving Anna disappointed at the lack of a ring on her finger.

Right before she had this dinner with Jeremy, she met up at a bar with her dad, Jack (John Lithgow), who reminded her of a tradition where a woman can propose to a man on the 29th of February in Ireland. Remembering this, Anna goes to Ireland with the intent of asking Jeremy to marry her. However, on the way, her plane is forced to land quite far from Dublin, which is where Jeremy is. She is forced to hire the owner of a local pub, Declan (Matthew Goode), to drive her there. They encounter hardship after hardship along the way, but they also find themselves becoming closer and closer.

I would like to emphasize that it really isn't as bad as I thought it would be. It's saved from complete oblivion by the performances of the two leads, Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. These two have some pretty good chemistry together and enough charm to make the movie seem better than it actually is. They are even able to provide some funny moments, few though they are.

However, their performances are not enough to overcome the film's overarching predictability. This is a film where you know what is going to happen from frame one (assuming you saw any of the trailers or TV spots). You must sit through the obligatory scenes, which pretty much encompass the entire movie.

There's the set up of the boyfriend that Anna thinks she is going to end up with and another set up with the introduction of the ruggedly handsome Irishman. There are several scenes in which the two have to act as though they absolutely hate each other as things continually go wrong for them (the car gets stuck in a ditch, they must pretend to be married, Anna misses her train, etc.).

Yet, all along, the situation is exactly what we know it is. As the owner of a bed and breakfast that the couple stays at says to them, "You're in love. Anyone can see that." Well, it appears that everyone can see that, except for them, so we must wait for them to slowly realize this fact on their own. Waiting for them to realize this is what the movie feels like it's very stretched.

This all leads up to the "surprise" ending, where anything other than what we know will happen would have been an actual surprise. It's a shame that such charming actors are wasted in a project that has absolutely no originality, no twists, and ends up being an exercise in patience while waiting for the movie to get to its obvious conclusion. 2.5/4 stars.
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