The Five-Year Engagement
I walk into any film written by Jason Segel with some pretty high expectations. While The Five-Year Engagement has some issues, including a very contrived plot and some lackluster on-screen chemistry, I still found myself laughing through the majority of the film. Many of the gags are almost telegraphed, and some of them go on just a smidge too long to be quite as hilariously impactful. The transitions in the story are both humorously timed and somewhat macabre.
The Five-Year Engagement follows a couple, Tom (Segel) and Violet (Blunt) through the trials of a relationship with two highly successful and driven people. After Tom sacrifices his career as a chef in San Francisco to follow Violet to Michigan for her post-doctoral program, the couple tries to keep their relationship going despite some very obvious problems. Segel and Blunt’s performances could have been stronger, but there was nothing particularly remarkable to note either. Their chemistry occasionally felt like it was missing, but I suppose that could be chalked up to the authenticity of them having relationship troubles.
Alison Brie, who played Violet’s sister, added some much needed depth to the cast. The relationship between the two was often quite amusing, particularly near the end of the film when both girls argue in Sesame Street character voices. Sounds crazy, but it’s completely entertaining. Chris Patt, as Tom’s friend and coworker, is a good foil for Tom, but he’s definitely not my favorite.
Despite the predictability of much of the plot and humor, The Five-Year Engagement is still an enjoyable film. Yes, at just over two hours, it is a little long and could benefit from some edits, but the majority of the cast makes it a worthwhile comedy that will entertain guys and girls alike.