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The Five-Year Engagement: Review

Posted 12/10/2012

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The Five-Year Engagement
Judd Apatow, Jason Segel, and Nicholas Stoller each have resumes filled with projects that are both critically acclaimed and highly successful. So when the three of them teamed up to make ‘The Five-Year Engagement’, it’s no surprise that what they created is a film that takes the romantic comedy genre and douses it with their unique style of clever writing and unpredictable laughs.

One year after meeting, Tom (Segel) proposes to Violet (Emily Blunt) in elaborate fashion, and if not for the title, one would think they’d be heading down the altar and on their way to happily-ever-after in no time. Unfortunately, Violet’s dream of a postdoctoral assignment close to San Francisco doesn’t happen, and she finds herself having to move across the country to pursue her academic aspirations in Michigan. Willing to put his own culinary career on hold, Tom agrees to follow his love to Michigan on what both think and hope is just a minor pit stop.

The initially happy couple temporarily pushes back the wedding so they can adjust to their new life, but Tom soon becomes resentful of this new life and the missed opportunities he left behind. Tom’s slow downward spiral into misery is where Segel’s comedic chops shine and the outrageous and unpredictable induce laughing fits. From the subtle facial gestures to the full-on physical comedy scenes, he nails it as the man who feels like he’s had his manhood removed.

Segel’s fellow cast members are no slouches either when it comes to bringing the funny. Brian Posehn, Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, Alison Brie, Chris Parnell, and Chris Pratt all bring various comedy backgrounds to the table. The result is a buffet of great onscreen chemistry flavoured with awkward speeches at family functions, hunting accidents in the kitchen, and arguments done in ‘Sesame Street’ character.

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