Skip This One
If you are in a romantic mood I am sure "Leap Year" will be a delight but if you are feeling in the least bit cynical it will border on an insult to the senses. You see "Leap Year" is a modern, stereotypical, romantic fairytale with a young woman heading to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend because it is a leap year and ending up falling for a local larrikin. It plays out in a completely predictable manner from various mishaps involving mud to what eventually happens when it comes to romance and with it filled with what the movie industry wants us to think Irish folk and towns are like it is basically one cliche after another. So as I said if you are in the mood for some simple romance it will work but if you are feeling in the least bit cynical, like I was as I watched this, you will end up bored by predictable drivel.
Anna Brady (Amy Adams - Julie & Julia) and her boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) are quite similar as they are both go getters, so when Jeremy doesn't propose like Anna expected she decides to do something about it by heading to Ireland where he is on business and surprising him with a leap year proposal. But one problem after another leads her to end up in the small village of Dingle rather than Dublin and forced to rely on pub landlord and taxi driver Declan (Matthew Goode - A Single Man) to take her to Dublin. But their journey is beset by even more problems especially when despite an initial dislike of each other Anna and Declan grow close.
Yawn, I'm sorry but "Leap Year" was one big yawn for me and that comes from the simple fact that everything about it was stereotypical and predictable. The minute Anna ends up in Dingle and we meet Declan along with some movie stereotypical Irish locals you know what is going to happen down to the various problems along the way from cows blocking the road to Anna coated in mud. Now I don't usually mind unoriginal movies but "Leap Year" is so devoid of anything new that it becomes a chore to watch as tired old cliches and stereotypes get rolled out.
It is also a movie which you need to commit to and switch off all logic to enjoy because there are so many fantasy elements and use of soft lighting to accept. What I mean by fantasy is the complete ignoring of reality starting with the town of Dingle where plugging a phone charger in causes the whole town to lose power. Yes I know this is just a joke but it is a seriously stupid joke which would have worked maybe twenty years ago with a hair dryer but now doesn't. Then there is the fact the movie is set in February, a cold month for most yet are two protagonists are not dressed for cold weather and even worse there is a wedding on a Sunday with an outside reception. It pushes things too far for me with to many unbelievable scenes and ideas to let fly.
And then we get to the characters or in fact caricatures because there is not a single character that is not a cliche, a movie perception of what someone should be like. So Amy Adams as Anna is your stereotypically pushy American who only thinks of herself whilst Matthew Goode as Declan is your stereotypical Irish larrikin with a mischievous glint in his eye and an accent which seems to switch to various regions of Ireland. They are not the worst because we are talking the movie world's image of Ireland and so we have the quirky locals who have all these superstitions. It is all too much, too cliche and too unoriginal to be enjoyable.
What this all boils down to is that "Leap Year" is a movie for those who are desperate to watch a romantic comedy and won't care that there is not a scrap of originality in the movie. If you have any ounce of cynicism in you then it will be a boring slog of predictable story and stereotypical characters. In truth if they had toned down the stereotypes and found an original, believable idea instead of only cliches "Leap Year" probably would have been bearable but as it is I just found it painful.