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Segel Can’t Save the “Five-Year Engagement”

Romcom, as a genre, has some problems. The majority of the films aren’t very good.They’re cliche, predictable, and completely unrealistic. They’re poorly written for big-name stars that phone-in performances because they can. It’s their name and good looks that sell tickets, not story. “The Five-Year Engagement” is another movie that can be added to the mediocre romcom library.

“Engagement” stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt as Tom and Violet, a happy San Franciscan couple who put their engagement on hold after Blunt accepts a job at the University of Michigan. As the altar gets farther and farther away the wait takes it toll on the once happy couple.

Gee whiz, I wonder what will happen? What about the attractive professor hitting on Violet? What about Tom’s not-so-secret resentment for giving up his career as a chef and moving to Michigan? Oh no, they’re fighting, how will it all end?

Co-written by Segel, and directed by Nick Stoller, I had high hopes going into this film. Not only because of my love for Segel, but because the last Segel/Stoller project was 2008’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” which was a fantastic example of what a romcom can be. “Engagement” falls short and fails to match the energy and humor of “Marshall.”

The leads of the film do a decent job. Segel is watchable and enjoyable, but my opinion may be bias because as I said before, I love him. And Blunt is charming as his intended bride, although it’s hard not to be charming when you have an accent.

The supporting cast also does a perfectly adequate job. Rhys Ifans is fine as Violet’s smarmy boss and “Community’s” Alison Brie has a very believable fake accent as Violet’s sister. Chris Pratt, as Tom’s best friend, was surprisingly likeable and provided most of the laughs.

The plotline is predictable, but that was to be expected. I just wanted it to be better. It wasn’t funny. That’s not true, there were some funny moments, but sadly they were all in the trailer. It’s a harmless movie that will leave you bored. Even a die-hard Jason Segel fan like myself (I’m serious, since the first episode of “Freaks and Geeks” I was hooked) can’t fully recommend this film.

It is possible to make a good romcom. I’ve seen them. I’ve seen these same people make them. “The Five-Year Engagement” just isn’t one of them.




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