Tuesday May 08 2012
Funny "The Five-Year Engagement" takes too long to get to the point
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
?The Five-Year Engagement? Directed by Nicholas Stoller Starring: Jason Segel and Emily Blunt Rating: Three out of five stars Funny ?The Five-Year Engagement? takes too long to get to the point By Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger It?s been said that lightning doesn?t strike the same place twice and this is often true of movies that feature the same creative teams. Director Nicholas Stoller and star Jason Segel previously worked together on the criminally underrated ?Forgetting Sarah Marshall? and have reunited once again for their most recent venture into relationship comedy, ?The Five-Year Engagement.? The film follows Tom (Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt), a recently engaged couple whose professional lives throw their wedding plans into chaos. Violet gets accepted to college in Michigan, which forces the couple to relocate from San Francisco, where Tom has a burgeoning career as a chef. It also serves to delay their wedding more than once, which eats away at Tom and adds to his ever-growing frustration over sacrificing his career aspirations. This of course creates a rift between the couple, who are perfect for each other but who also seem to be growing in opposite directions. Where the film struggles is managing the running time while making their conflict develop organically. Relationship problems often fester and take a very long time to manifest. The film allows this to play out on screen but it suffers from feeling drawn out and overstuffed. It?s a very funny film at times with Segel and Stoller working at the top of their game to come up with memorable scenes and characterizations. Among the highlights are Chris Pratt and Alison Brie, playing Tom and Violet?s in-laws, who are hilariously mismatched but surprisingly sweet and loving. However, the film doesn?t quite manage to walk its delicate tightrope and stumbles many times along the way. It?s a difficult conundrum to sacrifice authenticity to make a brisk film but it?s a gamble Segel and Stoller should have made. As it stands, ?The Five-Year Engagement? feels like a good movie bogged down by excess. It?s a frustrating misfire because the filmmakers are capable of so much better. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.