The Five Year Engagement (2012)


Nicholas Stoller directs Emily Blunt, Jason Segel and Alison Brie in this romantic comedy about a near perfect couple who struggle to stay together during the run up to their oft-delayed wedding.

A superficially floral romcom that exploits a very winning cast to go to some very dark places. When the stretched and strained relationship we invest in hits a funk, the funk is brutal. The Five Year Engagement languishes in this darkness; taking in depression, infidelity and the pressure of compromise. Like the similarly underrated The Break Up, this strange swerve from sparky chemistry to unbearable antagonism between the couple slightly hobbles the chocolate box laughs. But the risk pays off richly and the feels of the finale are stronger for making it through the unlit tunnel they emerge out of. There’s a bright, efficient genre exercise bookending a less satisfying but brave middle act. If your palette can take the shift in flavours then you’ll find Segel and Blunt delivering peak game comedic power-plays. Toes are lost, happiness risked, careers ruined but the couple feel like they’ve earned their happy ending like no other cutesy star pairing. The hustling support cast are all stars in their own right now too, with the ever effective Alison Brie adding value as the prissy sister. She actually gels with Segel and Blunt’s interplay rather than showboats crudely.



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