Cinema Review: The Five-Year Engagement


DIR: Nicholas Stoller • WRI: Nicholas Stoller, Jason Segel • PRO: Judd Apatow, Rodney Rothman. Nicholas Stoller • DOP: Javier Aguirresarobe • ED: William Kerr Peck Prior • DES: Julie Berghoff • Cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie

Tom (Jason Segel) meets Violet (Emily Blunt), and they fall madly in love. One year later, Tom proposes to Violet, and she says ‘Yes’, and they live happily ever after… Except…

Picking up on the much smaller problems that couples today face rather than the sit-com’y, over the top stuff that most rom-coms dish out, The Five-Year Engagement will be painfully familiar to anyone who has ever been in a relationship. Tom and Violet are perfect for each other, and instead of the usual petty jealousies or ‘humorous misunderstandings’, the couple here are dealing with the very real problems of employment woes and family ills.

But just because it brings the realness, doesn’t mean it’s forgotten to bring the funny. Less laugh-out-loud funny than the likes of The 40-Year Old Virgin, The Five-Year Engagement is closer to being our generation’s version of When Harry Met Sally, with the humour originating from character rather than, say, farts. Jason Segel continues his reign as Hollywood’s Cuddliest Man, and Emily Blunt remains as adorable as ever, and as always there’s the ‘kookie’ supporting cast, with faces familiar to anyone who’s ever watched and episode of 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, The US Office or Community.

In short, pretty much the perfect date movie, and will have you smiling like a goon on your way out of the cinema. Unless, of course, you’re single… In which case this movie will inspire hope that one day you too will find your Segel or Blunt.

Rory Cashin

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
The Five-Year Engagement is released on 22nd June 2012


Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forgetting Sarah Marshall

DIR: Nicholas Stoller • WRI: Jason Segel • PRO: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson • DOP: Russ T. Alsobrook • ED: William Kerr • DES: Jackson De Govia • CAST: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, Mila Kunis, Bill Hader

Finally, a romantic comedy that is both funny and romantic has fallen onto the big screen, and it is down to none other than the creator of Superbad and Knocked Up. It has been a while since a rom-com has done exactly what it says on the tin.

This film is the king of all comedies so far this year. It leaps straight into the main point of the film and doesn’t drag on for ages. Just a few minutes into the film and the laughter starts bursting out.

The first funny scene is definitely one for the ladies. Composer, Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) gives the audience an eyeful of, well, his bits, something not be sneered at. This all happens while he is being dumped by famous TV star girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). On advice from his half brother, Brian (Bill Hader), Peter decides to go on a break to Hawaii by himself, only to find his ex-girlfriend Sarah staying in the same hotel alongside her new musician boyfriend, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Peter puts on an ‘I don’t care, I’m so over you’ face in front of Sarah but the hysterical crying coming from his balcony at night tells the receptionist Rachel (Mila Kunis) a different story. Rachel tries to help Peter in any way she can, as she herself has been hurt in a past relationship. It is fairly obvious from the start that these two could be more than just friends. Rachel seems to be a quiet and sweet receptionist but during a date with Peter her ex-boyfriend turns up and a humorous, wild side to her suddenly pops out. There are so many funny moments throughout the film. Peter hanging from a cliff after falling when trying to decide whether to jump into the sea or not will have you in stitches.

The legend of Superbad, Jonah Hill, also stars in this classic comedy, but his character is pointless in the film. He definitely wasn’t needed and doesn’t offer anything funny.

Surprisingly, Russell Brand’s performance is very good. He plays what seems to be a sex-obsessed singer to the best of his ability. He throws in a couple of funny moments when trying to teach a guest at the resort how to make love to his wife. Amusing stuff.

There are times where the humour disappears and the serious part kicks in. For instance, when Sarah and Peter (at different times) have flashbacks of one another, it is romantic.

Jason Segel’s performance is undoubtedly one of the best in this rom-com. Kristen Bell is a good actress but she doesn’t ooze that funny factor as much as the rest of the cast.

Overall this is the best comedy around for ages. It is a must see for anyone that loves a laugh and that doesn’t mind the occasional nude scene. It will have you in stitches throughout some of its best scenes.