Film: Lengthy Five-Year Engagement over-lengthy film


May 4th, 2012

Omaha, NE – When is too much of a charming thing no longer all that charming? From the Movieha podcast, Ryan Syrek and Matt Lockwood take a look at The Five-Year Engagement.

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Ryan: If there is one thing that Judd Apatow-produced movies are known for…

Matt: It’s being sensitive, somewhat saucy fun.

Ryan: Okay, but if there’s a second thing they are known for, it’s being frequently overlong.

The Five-Year Engagement stars Emily Blunt and Jason Segel.

Matt: Did you just call someone long-winded? If you’ll excuse me for a second, Pot, I’m going to go find a kettle you can call black.

Ryan: The Five-Year Engagement is proof that complaining about the running time of a movie isn’t always a lazy criticism, as the bloated length seems to suggest an air of self-importance that sucks the life out of an otherwise pleasant experience.

Matt: Because the truth is, there’s no need for this incredibly slight and charming tale to be anything but quickly told. Jason Segel plays Tom, an affable chef. Emily Blunt plays Violet, a darling psych grad student. The two love each other. They get engaged, but the nuptials constantly get derailed by various life events, such as his friend knocking up her sister and Violet being forced to relocate to Michigan for school.

Ryan: On the plus side, the movie doesn’t rely on the time-tested romantic comedy maneuver, wherein a couple that you know should be together has one miscommunication that could be resolved in the span of one actual conversation. There is a degree of plausibility to the conflict, even if the resolution is way, way too long in the offing.

Matt: The supporting cast is really fun, including Chris Parnell and a surprisingly effective Allison Brie, but the small pleasures get lost in the side-tracked script, which sees the lead characters each engage in behaviors that make them somewhat more unlikable by the end of the film, which is not exactly how that’s supposed to work.

Ryan: Blunt in particular proves to be more engaging than in past outings, allowing herself to be believably goofy. Despite an obvious difference in attractive levels between the couple, no offense to the lovably large insanely moled fella, I bought that she loved him. Heck, I bought the whole thing. They just sold me too much of it.

Matt: I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, and this one could have been right up my alley. As it stands, it was more right on the side of my alley.

Ryan: That sounds like a place Batman should be patrolling. But I think I’m getting too far ahead of myself with these summer movies.

Editorial Note: The Movieha podcast is produced in partnership with The Reader and is available at

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