Friday, May 11, 2012

The Five-Year Engagement

Get out your guns and get ready to shoot yourself in the face wedding rings and doughnuts, because we're reviewing The Five-Year Engagement!
I thought this came out pretty well.
Here's the short version: It's awful. Here's the long version: It's got some funny parts, but other than that, it's pretty awful. I cannot believe how uncomfortable and painful a movie co-written and starring Jason Segel and produced by Judd Apatow is. For the in-depth version...

Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet(Emily Blunt) really want to get married. But when Violet gets a job in Michigan and they are forced to move, they put off the wedding until the time is right. And it all goes downhill from there.

Going into it I didn't think it was going to be the best movie, or a breakout success, but I expected it to be at least as good as Bridesmaids.  Watching it I still wanted to like it because I enjoy Jason Segel and it seemed like it had some interesting things to say, but Damien titty-fucking Wayne is this movie painful to watch.  Full-disclosure: I missed the first 10-20 minutes of this, so perhaps that's when something magical happens that pulls the rest of it all together, but I really really doubt it.  I went with a group of friends and one of them ducked out during the middle and missed a good hour of the movie. She's the one who enjoyed it the most.
Emily Blunt was ok. Still not worth it though.
Watching this movie is similar to watching a real relationship as it barrels forward into a train wreck. Or it's almost like watching a really bad reality TV show relationship.  The characters just get worse and worse and I'm not quite sure why I'm supposed to like them. For the longest time, I didn't even know the point or the overall theme of the movie.  It felt like things were just happening.  And it just gets more awkward and painful the further you go, including some truly awful sex scenes and unneeded nude shots. I hope you enjoy Jason Segel awkwardly trying to have sex! Because it goes on for way too long.

It's a shame because there are some talented people in here. Probably the only saving grace of this is that it brings together people from Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office, which really just makes me wish there was a reality-bending TV super-event where they all interacted with each other somehow. Allison Brie from Community and Chris Pratt form Parks and Rec are generally fun to watch on screen.  They're like the fun aunt and uncle who come to visit; you vehemently beg them not to go because the rest of your family is so boring and awkward.  Brian Posehn, Chris Parnell and Mindy Kaling are also fun in their roles, and Rhys Ifans is a generally funny and flawed character. I can see what drove him to become a mad scientist in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man, it was being in this movie.

There are some authentically funny moments littered throughout, but it's so hard to enjoy them in this overall mess. It's like picking rainbow sprinkles out of brussels sprout ice-cream.  I like the ending, it's actually a cool way to get married, but it doesn't matter when I want(read NEED) the movie to end halfway through the movie after they're broken up.  Then there's Emily Blunt and Allison Brie arguing about relationships in the voices of Elmo and Cookie Monster, which will hopefully end up online so you don't have to slog through two hours of crap and bad sex scenes just to see. And then there's this weird doughnut analogy which they carry through the whole movie, which at first is a cute throwaway gag, then kind of brilliant, then annoying as they drive it into the ground.
Alison Brie and Chris Pratt, the only reason to watch this. Seriously,  Community-Parks and Rec crossover anyone?

Another problem is that time just elapses and places switch without any kind of indication as to when or where they are. Did this start in 2002 and just now end? Did it start in 2010 and it's now the future but somehow the robots didn't revolt? That they don't have any indication of time or location is really confusing and hurts the overall narrative.

I can kind of see what they were trying to do. They're trying to give a realistic look at a relationship and how painful and awkward it is, but still have lots of random jokes and strange humor. But it doesn't work if it's not entertaining to watch. I'm not rooting for them. I just want them to break up so I can go home already.  It has this half-way decent message of "the person you end up with isn't supposed to be a perfect fit", but it's just lost in this painful, annoying and awkward slog.
I'm also surprised how good my original sketch was. I liked the sketches more than I liked the movie. 
THE GOOD: lots of great actors, people from Parks and Rec, Community, and The Office, a few funny bits, good ending with an interesting message.

THE BAD: awkward, annoying, and just painful to watch. awkward sex scenes. generic story, confusing in time and place, doughnut analogy is annoying, characters are annoying, just not fun.

THE VERDICT: $$ Don't bother seeing it in theaters. If you're curious, wait until it's out on DVD or on Netflix, or until it's funnier clips are up on youtube.

MOVIES LIKE IT: Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, Friends with Kids

ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: SPOILERS. I AM SPOILING THE MOVIE FOR ANYONE WHO CARES, BECAUSE I SURE AS HELL DON'T. Tom gives up his dream of being a head chef(and a new position at a new restaurant!) to move to buttfuck nowhere Michigan so Violet can have her dream job of being a psychology researcher.  Two years pass(I think) and Tom is in a dismal depressing place because his job sucks, and Violet wants to stay four or more years to go further.  Tom is obviously mad at this, but surprisingly, Violet gets mad at Tom for, I don't even know, not wanting to screw his dreams further to make her happy? And then she goes and cheats at him because he's depressed, which she caused. Am I suppose to root for them to get together?

Come to think of it, at the end of the movie when she's fluorescing in buttfuck Michigan, he has a whole food business in California and they decide to get married finally, I don't think they even resolve the issue of who's going to move where. Why did I even bother with this movie.

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