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The Five-Year Engagement – A Review
What do you think?
The Five-Year Engagement
2hr 4min - Rated R - Comedy
Director: Nicholas Stoller - Cast: Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, Chris Pratt
Last night, I went to see this movie with some friends – it’s new on the circuit. I had not seen the trailer, so I had no prior knowledge of the movie, which could be described as a “Chick-Flick,” according to my friend’s husband. I had no expectations which sometimes have a bearing on how much we enjoy a movie – or not. Be warned that there is language and some adult content in this romantic comedy.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The characters were all engaging and there was much humor in the story. It is a lighthearted look at engagement and marriage, but does encourage us to question our choices and to look more closely at relationships. To wed or not to wed, is that the question? Or is the question when? The story begins in San Francisco, where Tom (Jason Segel), the hero in the story, is a talented sous chef. His love interest, Violet (Emily Blunt), is passionate about social psychology and has pinned her dreams on being accepted for a postdoctoral assignment at UC Berkeley. The two characters are beautifully portrayed; as a matter of fact I found all the casting particularly well done. Tom is a likeable and appealing husband-to-be and Victoria is refreshing and sexy. They are both extremely easy on the eye. Victoria’s rather unconventional sister, Suzie, (Alison Brie) and her love interest, Alex, (Chris Pratt) contribute greatly to the appeal of the film. A very touching scene included a serenade, a song that I used to listen to as a child – one of my Dad’s favorite records (back in the day when we still had seven singles!) It was a recording of “Cucurrucucu Paloma” by Nancy Ames – a recording I simply cannot find today. I will, however, settle for a wonderful rendition to share with you here, by Brazilian, Caetano Veloso. Look out for the scene in the movie - it is such a treat!
Without divulging too much of the story, this couple’s adventures take them to the state of Michigan. There are some charmingly humorous scenes which had me laughing out loud throughout the movie. Tom finds himself limited by a shortage of job opportunities there, while Victoria advances professionally at the University of Michigan. Subsequently, she becomes conflicted about her life and choices. While Tom tries to make the best of their situation, their relationship begins to feel the strain. I was immediately struck by the winter imagery of Michigan, as I am poised to move from the intense heat and humidity of Texas to the extreme winter of Manitoba. I have never lived with ice or snow and I did get a bracing introductory view of life up North! Brrrrrrr! The friends with whom I went to see the movie are from Chicago, and they both teased me about getting ready for the extreme conditions in Canada. The other colorful characters in the story make the film lively and interesting as they get themselves into situations which are both humorous and empathetic.
Who's a Drunken Pig then?
Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel
Writer-director Nicholas Stoller collaborated with Jason Segel who co-wrote the script. In the words of Nicholas Stoller, “It’s a crazy, funny, awesome movie,” and he explains that the emotional component is true but the situations in which the couple find themselves are scripted. This is also a family story in which various relationships are explored. Relationships of friends, lovers and spouses are highlighted both comically and seriously and I enjoyed this movie from beginning to end. Thumbs Up for enjoyable movie fare.