The Five Year Engagement

The Five Year Engagement

Beginning where most romantic comedies end, a look at what happens when an engaged couple, Violet and Tom, keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle and the strain it puts on their relationship. 3.1 out of 5 based on 15 reviews
The Five Year Engagement

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Comedy
Director Nicholas Stoller
Cast Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, Jason Segel
Studio Universal Pictures UK
Release Date June 2012
Running Time 123 mins
 

Beginning where most romantic comedies end, a look at what happens when an engaged couple, Violet and Tom, keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle and the strain it puts on their relationship.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Simon Braund

None of the hurdles Tom and Violet encounter are trite or engineered for laughs — no-one gets stranded at the airport, the limo doesn’t crash, the church doesn’t burn down. They are all the result of two people whose lives take on different trajectories and who just can’t seem to get it together. It’s consistently funny, often laugh-out-loud so, but as Tom and Violet constantly thwart their chances of happiness it is also heart-wrenching and real, and the inevitable break-up scene genuinely moving.

19/06/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

A couple of years ago, Nanette Burstein's comedy Going the Distance – about a long-distance relationship – made an reasonable stab at representing the actual experience of romance in a modern world in which women have careers as well as the men. The Five Year Engagement does its best to accommodate this reality as well ... And Segel and Stoller entertainingly show that, once in the back of beyond, Tom's embrace of local house-husband pursuits like hunting, knitwear and beard-growing is a form of mental breakdown. The movie, perhaps by accident, makes the feminist point that this is precisely the kind of frustration and depression that women have been expected to endure for centuries.

21/06/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Sets its face against the old tropes of traditional romantic comedy and its foolish enshrinement of "perfection". It is altogether more humble, and more truthful, in charting the pitfalls of modern coupledom. To be selfish in the pursuit of ambition and fulfilment or to be a martyr in facilitating your partner's? Can one find a middle ground? In doing so the film also gets to grips with the difficult subject of self-worth, difficult for American movies, that is, which so often confuse it with self-entitlement.

22/06/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

If Jason Segel finally starts to convince us as a romantic lead, it’s as much to do with the flirty fun that Blunt brings to the film as it is to do with his performance. And while the screenplay, not unlike the leading man, gets a little saggy around the middle, Blunt is on hand to pep things up.

22/06/2012

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

In a society — or, if you prefer, in a socioeconomic milieu — where work is a primary source of meaning, identity and status, how do two people reconcile professional ambition with the demands and rewards of a fulfilling relationship? It is certainly possible to raise a feminist eyebrow at the way “The Five-Year Engagement” ultimately answers this question, which is to say with a timid and slightly cynical traditionalism, but it is also impossible not to feel genuine sympathy for Violet and Tom, and to root for them to work it out.

26/04/2012

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The Scotsman

The Scotsman

Stoller’s slick confection woos us with a terrific opening 30 minutes of zinging one-liners and colourful supporting performances. Then the malaise sets in. Our attraction to the script and characters wanes and we almost fall out of love entirely with the film during a plodding, bloated middle section that noticeably treads water.

21/06/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey

As the couple works through their issues, Tom and Violet aren't the only ones who are conflicted. At times the film plays like farce — a painful crossbow misfire, an improbable parkour action scene in an Ann Arbor alleyway. At other times, such as when Tom's discontent surfaces, the film shifts to relationship drama in ways that are interesting yet out of sync with the general tone. Cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe must have had to scramble to keep up with the mood changes and the one-off comic bits that keep turning up.

27/04/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

A long day’s journey into relationship insight, but with fun on the way.

26/06/2012

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Total Film

Tony Horkins

What The Five-Year Engagement lacks in belly laughs it makes up for in heart and soul, successfully exploring the genuine greys of a relationship instead of painting them black and white.

13/06/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

Doesn't quite seem thought through, yet in a way that's its saving grace – this baggy film drifts from situation to situation with free-associative insouciance, its sense of passing time weirdly elastic. That's what moderately smart US comedies aspire to now: to being sketch shows that you can dip in and out of on your plane journey.

24/06/2012

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The Observer

Mark Kermode

Plaudits to Rhys Ifans for a scene-stealingly slimy turn as a predatory psychologist on the prowl.

24/06/2012

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The Sunday Times

Jonathan Dean

Then it ends and you go back to your life. Not every comedy has to change the genre, but this is so risk-free, so cosy, it may as well come with a comfort blanket. There was a ramshackle edginess to Apatow’s early hits, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, yet here it’s been smoothed out so as not to risk offending the mainstream. Or it’s simply become too familiar. Either way, it’s just all so well thought out.

24/06/2012

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Time Magazine

Mary Pols

The chemistry between Segel and Blunt is another matter. They’re very jolly, but more in the cozy manner of brother and sister than actual couple. Their kisses appear more a matter of fierce adhesion than sensual exploration, as if they’ve smashed their mouths together and can’t pry them apart. Even their acting styles don’t feel natural in tandem; Blunt is crisp and coolly cerebral, while Segel is all sloppy, emotive heart. Opposites certainly can and do attract, but these two never convinced me of any real passion between Tom and Violet.

26/04/2012

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

Most disappointingly, the script is heavily weighted in favour of its male characters – we’re expected to sympathise with Tom even though he behaves despicably, while Violet is depicted as the one in need of forgiveness, a tendency that reaches its peak in the frustratingly overextended finale.

20/06/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

The Five Year Engagement comes, so the posters tell us, “from the producer of Bridesmaids”, Judd Apatow, and it plays like a compilation of deleted scenes not sharp enough to be considered for that film.

21/06/2012

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