When Jeff and I recently went to see The Five-Year Engagement, we literally had the entire theater to ourselves. Seriously, that evening, we were apparently the only two people who took a look at the showtimes for the AMC Valley View and say, “Let’s see the Five-Year Engagement.”
Now, I’m not complaining because, quite frankly, we enjoyed having that theater to ourselves. However, later that night, I found myself thinking about the empty theater and the fact that very few of the film lovers in my circle of friends had expressed much interest in The Five-Year Engagement. The critics, in general, have been kind to the film but audiences seem to view it as a Netflix film at best.
That’s a shame because, oh my God, The Five-Year Engagement is such a sweet film! Seriously, I loved this movie!
Produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Nicholas Stoller, The Five-Year Engagement is a romantic comedy about a chef (played, quite well, by Jason Segal) and a psychologist (played by Emily Blunt, who is apparently destined to star in 65% of the romantic comedies released this year) who get engaged and end up remaining engaged for the next five years as the marriage ceremony is continually delayed by everything from Segal’s best friend marrying Blunt’s sister to the couple moving to Ann Arbor when Blunt gets a job working at the University of Michigan. Along the way, various relatives die while still waiting for the blessed event and Segal and Blunt’s relationship struggles to survive against the distractions of everyday life.
The Five-Year Engagement isn’t a perfect film. As often seems to happen with films produced by Judd Apatow, the film is about 20 minutes too long and sometimes the mix of sentimentality and crudeness is a bit awkward. I could have done without an extended sequence in which Jason Segal (after having settled into life in Michigan) is revealed to have briefly turned into a crossbow-weilding survivalist.
However, in the end, those flaws don’t matter because the Five-Year Engagement is, at heart, a sincerely sweet movie. Jason Segal and Emily Blunt have a very real and very likable chemistry. They make for a cute couple and you really find yourself hoping that they stay together. Playing, respectively, Segal’s best friend and Blunt’s sister, Chris Pratt and Alison Brie both provide strong comedic support. One of my favorite moments features Brie attempting to give a toast at Segal and Blunt’s engagement party and quickly dissolving into teary gibberish. (Admitedly, one reason I loved this scene is because I did the same thing when I attempted to give a toast at my sister Megan’s wedding.) Brie and Blunt also have another hilarious scene where they find themselves discussing realtionship matters while pretending to be Elmo and Cookie Monster. It’s an odd but ultimately truthful moment.
Ignore the naysayers. The Five-Year Engagement is sweet movie that deserves to be seen.