It’s an often charming film, and I couldn’t help thinking as credits rolled that 20 fewer minutes would’ve resulted in a stronger story.
Jason Segel is Tom, a chef who meets and falls in love with Violet (Emily Blunt). It’s clear she’s deeply smitten with him, and the movie opens with their goofy and romantic engagement, complete with fireworks shooting over San Francisco Bay as they kiss. Awwww.
But Violet’s career pulls Tom away from his successful San Francisco life to the frozen north of Ann Arbor, Mich. As her dream of becoming a tenured psychology professor becomes closer to reality, Tom is less-than-inspired by his work at a deli.
The pair keep postponing their wedding until the timing is perfect. You might be able to guess about their general ups and downs, but the specifics of “The Five-Year Engagement” are what make the movie.
Let’s start with Blunt, who makes us believe Violet would fall for Tom because they’re both cut from the same zany cloth. The film was written by Segel and Nicholas Stoller, and they give their lead actress plenty of funny stuff to work with. She had an excellent Cookie Monster impression.
Segel plays his usual lovable lug of a character, who somehow manages to be sweet even when he’s doing something horribly wrong.
“The Five-Year Engagement” is helped along by Alison Brie, as Violet’s sister, and Chris Pratt, as Tom’s friend. Their engagement is short and to the point, so they don’t obsess over perfection. They’re a funny duo trying to make the best of what’s before them, though both are screwed up individuals.
Good, solid laughs are spread throughout the movie, but there was a point where I empathized with the characters who were fed up with Tom and Violet’s long wait. Like them, I think “The Four-Year Engagement” would’ve been much better.
I give it a C plus.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.