Pauls Valley, Oklahoma —
The best stories aren’t always about saying everything that needs to be said, but finding a way to convey the overall message in a package audiences are not going to zone out of before it’s over. I agree there are plenty of opportunities to be epic and slowly march through a compelling plot, but the romantic comedy does not belong on the list.
The 30 or so minutes which probably could have been edited out actually made me almost forget how girly things in this genre can get. That said, I was actually not too afraid of losing much of my masculinity to this chick flick influenced submission and pretty much got all of the comedy I was expecting from the trailer. “The Five-Year Engagement” seems to trail on at times almost as long as its name, but at other moments provides some of the freshest gags seen from a category prone to rinse and repeat.
Starting off in San Francisco, we meet a couple very much in love, a sous chef named Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) and a psychology PHD graduate named Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt). They appear set to head toward that ultimate relationship step after Tom pops the question, when it all starts to go downhill at the engagement party.
At first it seems like just inconvenient delays to their special day like the knocked up matrimony of Violet’s sister Suzie Barnes (Alison Brie) and Alex Eilhauer (Chris Pratt) or an acceptance to a post-doctorate program at the University Michigan. Then it only seems to drag on further, which might have actually been best left to montage instead of what they actually did in the film. In any case, the story of how these two struggle actually does speak volumes for many couples and turns into a quest to see if they can even solve their own inner problems.
One of the best parts of this DVD was actually the plentiful extras that included some rather funny stuff either cut out or made in case you aren’t too tired to go on. This is where I found I could have watched an uncensored version instead of the theatrical cut, but after one time through I’m not sure I could sit through it all again.
I certainly won’t be picking up a copy and really only recommend it if you have a little over two hours and have seen just about everything else in the store. It’s certainly not appropriate for anyone else other than adults with the humor and content so I recommend the kids sit this one out. I’m not feeling robbed, but for an average result that wraps up well enough I’d say “The Five-Year Engagement” earns two and a half out of five nuptials.
DVD rental courtesy of Family Video of Pauls Valley.