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home : features : features April 28, 2016

4/29/2012 6:00:00 AM
Reel Watchers: The Five Year Engagement
By Diane Hansen
Kingman Resident

While most romantic comedies end when the couple gets engaged, that's just the beginning of "The Five-Year Engagement," starring Jason Segel as sous chef, Tom Solomon, and Emily Blunt as Violet Barnes, an aspiring psychology professor.

Things get complicated after their engagement when Violet is offered a position at the University of Michigan, and Tom decides to give up his career in favor of their relationship. The wisdom of putting their wedding plans on hold is questioned by Violet's sister Suzie (Alison Brie) and future brother-in-law Alex (Chris Pratt), who enter into a surprise marriage of their own due to an unplanned pregnancy. Parents and grandparents of the couple also have "grave" concerns about the long engagement.

Things go well for the couple during their first two years in Michigan. Violet immerses herself in academic psychology with an unlikely group of misfits while Tom undergoes a transformation into a bona fide, scruffy redneck.

Things get hilarious as Tom learns how to hunt and finds new ways to utilize his culinary talent. His sandwich shop co-worker and "Mr. Mom" hunting buddy become his new friends and mentors.

The couple continues to put their marriage on hold, affirming how perfect they are for one another, even after several funerals in the family fail to serve as wake-up calls. Violet achieves more success in her position at the university while Tom becomes increasingly disillusioned with his menial job in the sandwich shop, and being part of the Michigan redneck culture. Finally, after a pivotal incident involving Violet and her boss, their relationship starts to unravel. What follows is rather predictable, but poignant.

Even though it provides some very entertaining moments, this movie slogs along at times, and one wonders if the engagement was really worth the wait. However, as in most romantic comedies, true love eventually prevails and the couple comes up with a solution that is both spontaneous and clever.

R-rated because of the lewd language and sexual content, I would give "The Five-Year Engagement" a 2 1/2-out-of-4 Miners.

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