Not a Movie Snob - The Five Year Engagement

Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 at 06:00 PM

"Don't bother"

The Five Year Engagement

Have you ever seen Jason Segel's ass? If you've seen either of his Nicholas Stoller collaborations, chances are, you have. If you've seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, chances are you've seen his little tweety bird as well. At the risk of sounding shallow, these aren't going to be especially enticing prospects for those going to see a Jason Segel flick.

But see it we do, and the phallic shaped shadow that lingers in our minds after Sarah Marshall is just a reminder that The Five Year Engagement harkens to something better. Something that struck gold with Marshall and fell short here. I know I'm making it sound like I'm disappointed that he didn't full out show his religion and not just his baked goods in Five Year, but it has nothing to do with Segel's special purpose so much as the fact that The Five Year Engagement feels in some ways like a wimpier version of Sarah Marshall. Even some of the jokes are the same, but in a less funny context.

Siegel his self does a good job with what he has to work with, or rather, what he's given himself to work with, as he co wrote the film. He's a likable guy, if not incredibly versatile, and easy to watch. Emily Blunt on the other hand, is in full cutesy overload. Her character is written to be likeable, and her idea of what that should play out as is looks of bewilderment and animated smile overdoses. Much like Zooey Deschanel, that geeky cutie pie 'I look surprised even when I understand' thing gets on the nerves after a while.

The story is fairly standard and starts off relatively strong. Siegel and Blunt play lovebirds who get engaged, only to have the wedding plans repeatedly put on standstill while career paths, dissatisfaction and boredom put strains on the relationship. The second half of the movie is where the plot starts to wane and falter and unimaginative and overused plot devices lose the audience their emotional hold on the characters and the movie. Things go from unoriginal to downright unbelievable by the end of the film and the aftertaste of the film as a whole is bitter. I'm not saying it doesn't have its moments. There are a number of laugh out loud jokes that work, there's just more that don't.

I still like Jason Siegel and think he's a very funny, talented guy. And I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next. Unfortunately, The Five Year Engagement mostly feels like a tossed away draft of Forgetting Sarah Marshall's script while it was still in the brainstorming stage.

Rating: *½ 



NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to