Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Five-Year Engagement (2012)


R, 2 hr. 4 min.  Directed By:  Nicholas Stoller.  Release Date:  Apr 27, 2012.


I went to see this with someone I work with.  I had made plans to see Safe and The Raven and he texted me The Five-Year Engagement as a counterproposal.  I was amenable, despite the fact that he knows I think texting is a pox on our society, something I only don’t hate doing when I know there’s not going to be a response or I know someone cannot take a phone call.  We get to the theater and the two of us are the youngest people in there by like forty years and the only guys.

My first thought was, quite literally, !@#@*.  It’s never a good sign when I show up to a movie and I’m like the antithesis of the majority of the crowd.  You might remember when I wrote about My Sister’s Keeper I wrote about how when I figured out why the boy was going to downtown (to ogle the hookers) I busted out laughing and like 400 women with tear-stained faces gave me the stink eye.  The take away from this tale is if you are ever in an extreme minority in a theater, you probably won’t enjoy yourself.

And I kind of didn’t.  The Five-Year Engagement is so slow to begin I was contemplating suicide by the thirty minute mark.  It also kind of reaffirmed my decision to remain a life-long bachelor.  It’s just not worth it to me.  Although, the wedding in the park would be the wedding I’d chose if I ever decide to break my bachelorhood vow.  It was totally spontaneous, wasn’t designed to impress anyone, and gave the bride and groom exactly what they need:  a forum in which they could express their feelings for each other.

I don’t really like Jason Segel.  He has the occasional funny part, but if he retired, I wouldn’t really miss him.  He was funny here, but inconsistently, and without any real sophistication to his method.  I do like Emily Blunt, and I’ve never found her to be funny.  She wasn’t here, but for some reason, they filmmakers chose to really sex her up.  Think Giada De Laurentiis.  Suddenly, everything she wore created an extreme cleavage moment.  I’m not so much complaining as I think there’s kind of a time and place for that, and most of this was not the time or the place.

But, the parts of this that are funny are genuinely so, even if the humor is a little juvenile.  I liked Emily Blunt a whole lot more than I liked Jason Segel.  I’ve also kind of done what they did: move from California to the northern Midwest (Ohio in my case, Michigan in theirs).  It’s a struggle.  People are nice, and come off a little strange because all their phasers are set on super-friendly, and Californians are used to a world where they don’t speak to their neighbors, much less random strangers.  It still creeps me out when I’m in the small town where my family lives in Ohio and random strangers who know my mother, my grandmother, my uncle, or less frequently, my cousins, and start talking to me because they hear my name and made the connection.  It’s more proof that we need anti-stalking laws in Ohio, says I.  I laughed my ass off at the snow-windshield scraping scene (because I’ve done exactly that) and at most of their adjustment to Michigan. 

This movie is… pleasant.  It’s not great, and pretty much the whole cast has been better elsewhere.