Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Five-Year Engagement, dir. Nicholas Stoller, scr. Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller, st. Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie

The latest in a glut of romantic comedies aimed squarely at 30-somethings on the verge of committing, either to uncertain careers, family plans or each other, continues with this quietly charming film, blessed with both a charismatic cast and an uneven, yet earthy screenplay courtesy of Segal. He plays Tom, one of producer Judd Apatow's trademark loser types, happily relationshipped with elegantly goofy Violet (Blunt). Their decision to tie the knot gets pushed and pushed as Violet's career takes off. This is a film in which, rarely for a rom-com, love is taken as a given; it's the living it as part of a real-life working scenario that makes this such a fascinating watch. Largely, the film rests on the easy grace of the leading pair - particularly Blunt, whom one suspects could charm her way out of the most egregious of tax-avoidance scheme public humiliations. There's wonderful support too in the shape of Parks And Rec's Chris Pratt and Community's Alison Brie as Tom and Violet's respective siblings, awkwardly making a far better fist of things than our leads. It's the little details that ring truest though; uncomfortable bed-based fights, little displays of support both genuine and feigned, and how individuals constantly re-evaluate and rank of all the different components that makes a relationship worth fighting for.