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Review: The Five-Year Engagement

Apr. 26, 2012by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) are the perfect couple. After getting engaged, Violet is offered a position at the University of Michigan, and Tom insists on turning down a prestigious chefs job in order to support her dream. Once they arrive in Michigan, Tom has a hard time adjusting, and their pending nuptials keep getting pushed further and further away.

REVIEW: Im of the group of people that absolutely adores the majority of Judd Apatows films. They tend to be chockfull of people that I like, and- even better, they never pander, and often have an undercurrent of genuine emotion running through them. THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT is no exception to this rule- and while its maybe not quite in the same league as BRIDESMAIDS (second only to FORTY YEAR OLD VIRGIN in the Apatow film canon- as far as Im concerned), its nonetheless a pretty perfect comedy charting the ups and downs that arrive in a relationship, even when the two people are perfectly suited to each other.


At 124 minutes (maybe a shade long), Tom and Violets relationship is given lots of time to breathe thanks to the un-harried pace. Segel and Blunt make an ideal onscreen couple, with both being super-likable. Segels character here is a bit more grown-up than the guy he played in FORGETING SARAH MARSHALL, and the contrast between the early scenes where Segel is a driven sous-chef, to the scenes in Michigan where he lazes around the house in a funk, is well defined. Segel plays it in a way that doesnt make the transition seem predictable, and even at his worst, its easy to see why Blunt would stick by him- to the point that she shrugs off his new deer hunting hobby and rockin handlebar moustache.

Whats really refreshing is that as the relationship starts the falter, its made clear that both parties are equally responsible. Its not a case where Segel just has to grow up- as hes already a fairly together guy, nor is it a case of Blunt being forced to choose between love and a career- as she makes it clear early on that shes willing to drop the job in order to keep them together. Rather, THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT shows how the resentment gradually builds up between the two and starts to ruin their initially perfect pairing.


Dont worry though- this isnt BLUE VALENTINE. Like director Nicholas Stollers last two films, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, and GET HIM TO THE GREEK, THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT is damn funny. Blunts a natural for Apatows brand of humor, just like Kristen Wiig or Kristen Bell. She more than holds her own opposite Segel, and probably has the funniest scene in the film with the great Alison Brie (COMMUNITY) who plays her sister (and sports an English accent that makes her even hotter than usual)- when they have a very R-rated conversation as Cookie Monster and Elmo. This scenes a classic.

The rest of the supporting cast shines as well, with PARKS & RECREATIONs Chris Pratt playing Segels best buddy (who memorably croons a song en espagnol), and the great Chris Parnell showing up as Segels fellow faculty-husband. Rhys Ifans, soon to be seen as The Lizard in AMAZING SPIDERMAN also has a gem of a role as Blunt possibly amorous supervisor, while THE OFFICEs Mindy Kaling and THINK LIKE A MANs Kevin Hart show up as two of her funnier colleagues. Im really only scratching the surface here regarding the supporting players, as there are tons more who give hysterically good performances, including ANIMAL KINGDOMs Jacki Weaver, Dakota Johnson, and the great Brian Posehn.

I really loved THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT, and I hope people get out and support it this weekend- as it deserves to be another Apatow sleeper (and is actually a good second option next weekend if AVENGERS happens to be sold out). Its a lot of fun, and even tugs a heartstring or two.

Source: JoBlo.com

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10:46AM on 04/30/2012
1 out of 10 times this site misleads me. This movie review was one of them. I disliked this from the get go. It felt like a forced romance. Not natural at all. And the story? It just drug on way too long. I thought I was watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall 2. I could not wait for it to be over.

I love Segel. He has so much charisma. And all around, charming. Loved everything he's been in so far. I was NOT feeling this or the supporting cast even a little bit. Even Kevin Hart was a let
1 out of 10 times this site misleads me. This movie review was one of them. I disliked this from the get go. It felt like a forced romance. Not natural at all. And the story? It just drug on way too long. I thought I was watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall 2. I could not wait for it to be over.

I love Segel. He has so much charisma. And all around, charming. Loved everything he's been in so far. I was NOT feeling this or the supporting cast even a little bit. Even Kevin Hart was a let down.

The Elmo/Cookie Monster scene. I wanted to gouge my eyes out. Corny.

Again, sorry. You like what you like, but people, a movie is over 10 bucks these days...be weary of this one.
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8:03PM on 04/26/2012

Bridesmaids is overrated

Well I now I'm going to love this film now because I find Bridesmaids the weakest of all Apatows productions. Im really interested to see if he still has the directors touch with his next film This is Forty
Well I now I'm going to love this film now because I find Bridesmaids the weakest of all Apatows productions. Im really interested to see if he still has the directors touch with his next film This is Forty
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6:54PM on 04/26/2012
Out of all Apatow productions, this is one of the weaker ones for me. While the running time never really bothered me for his other films, it was really noticeable in this one, because it just felt waaaaay too long. They could have easily cut out a bunch of scenes to fasten up the pace. Apart from that problem, it's a good film.
Out of all Apatow productions, this is one of the weaker ones for me. While the running time never really bothered me for his other films, it was really noticeable in this one, because it just felt waaaaay too long. They could have easily cut out a bunch of scenes to fasten up the pace. Apart from that problem, it's a good film.
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+10
2:01PM on 04/26/2012
I don't miss a Jason Segal movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall has gotten me through a lot of crap and The Muppets was a blast.
I don't miss a Jason Segal movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall has gotten me through a lot of crap and The Muppets was a blast.
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+5
1:01PM on 04/26/2012
What the hell is wrong with deer hunting and having a handlebar 'stache? Looking forward to this one.
What the hell is wrong with deer hunting and having a handlebar 'stache? Looking forward to this one.
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11:56AM on 04/26/2012
Damn - I am going to go broke this summer. You sold me; Great review. It sounds like a perfect movie that will draw me in for 2 hours. Huge fan of Segel. Shame it's not being released until the late part of the summer for me.
Damn - I am going to go broke this summer. You sold me; Great review. It sounds like a perfect movie that will draw me in for 2 hours. Huge fan of Segel. Shame it's not being released until the late part of the summer for me.
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11:12AM on 04/26/2012
I have no option... AVENGERS opens in my country TODAY!!! and this movie maybe never (Sarah Marshall was direct to dvd here). Anyway good review.
I have no option... AVENGERS opens in my country TODAY!!! and this movie maybe never (Sarah Marshall was direct to dvd here). Anyway good review.
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