The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

Jason Segel and Emily Blunt in The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

The Never-Ending Engagment

Having been together for just a year Tom (Jason Segel) proposes to his girlfriend Violet (Emily Blunt) and it doesn't go well as he is ultra nervous, she over questions him for being nervous and a whole skit thing he has with his friend Alex (Chris Pratt) is just stupid. But they get engaged and have a party where once again Alex manages to embarrass Tom with his idea of a funny song about his past loves. But undaunted they carry on except it seems that they should have paid attention to the signals as one thing after another leads to them delaying their wedding whilst getting pressure from their parents and being hit on by strangers.

Moan, act awkward, be bitchy and repeat. Why is it that so many modern comedies seem to thrive on annoying characters, over acting and a sense of nastiness all of which leaves me bewildered. I guess I am just getting old and as such from start to finish "The Five-Year Engagement" is a painful slog of bad jokes, bad characters and a lack of joy which makes it an extremely negative experience. I guess I am a Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan sort of guy when it comes to romantic comedies which ironically I am pretty sure they take the mickey out of at one point.

Chris Pratt in The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

Now "The Five-Year Engagement" isn't exactly complicated; couple due to get married but life and careers see them constantly postponing things whilst getting pressured by others. Along the way they move state for Violet's studies which sees talented chef Tom humiliated and ends up in a job making sandwiches with a guy who is a pickling nerd. So what we get is the woman getting her way whilst the boyfriend suffers in silence, but obviously unhappy, because he loves her so much. And do you know what as an idea I like it, there is potential to be realistic and funny.

But I get back to what apparently passes for comedy these days which seems to thrive on three things; obnoxious characters, mean spirited dialogue and slapstick which just doesn't work. I don't know what it is because both Segel and Blunt have separately appeared in funny comedies but something went wrong during the writing process and maybe the writers, which yes Segel was part of the writing team, were trying too hard to be comically edgy or trying too hard to be different to traditional happy romantic comedies.

What this all boils down to is that "The Five-Year Engagement" ended up another modern romantic which didn't work for me despite liking the actual idea of a never ending engagement. And my issue is that I don't get what is funny which passes for comedy now which seems more interested in being mean spirited than funny.