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Dueling reviews: The Five-Year Engagement disappoints

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, September 14, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02

 

The Five-Year Engagement, starring Jason Segal and Emily Blunt, is a romantic comedy that warms the heart and breaks away from some of the stereotypes of rom-com, but also feels overly long and awkward at points. 

Without giving up much of the plot, the film starts out introducing the main characters, Tom (Segal) and Violet (Blunt), and their fairly awkward, yet amusing proposal. The film, as the title suggests, shows their impeding engagement and planning for a wedding that constantly gets pushed back. 

The film itself is actually quite long for a comedy: over two hours. While the pacing of the film is quite balanced throughout, there are specific scenes that drag on much too long. The comedy itself is OK, but not extremely witty. While the cast from top to bottom does a remarkable job, especially Blunt and Segal, their jokes are based more on awkwardness that is hit-or-miss throughout. 

The awkward comedy is the more modern comedic style used in films now, but this film generally makes these awkward-comedic scenes run a little too long. The actors themselves seem to be lost at these points as well. 

The film also gets surprisingly dark and depressing at points. While this adds more of a realistic element to the film, furthering itself from the stereotypes of rom-com, it also creates moments that are completely unexpected and leave the viewer scratching his or her head. 

The cinematography is fairly straightforward: nothing too fancy or unique. The score of the film is quite mellow throughout and there were large portions of the movie, generally the dramatic parts, that had no music. That element certainly added to the intensity, but also aided in making scenes feel longer. 

The overall message of the film was quite touching. While there is a happy ending to The Five-Year Engagement, the scenes leading up to the climax are refreshing and are really the heart and soul of the film. 

The Five-Year Engagement is definitely worth a watch. While it is long and cringe-worthy at some points, the strong chemistry between the cast, and a different take on a re-hashed film genre, make it all worth it.

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