Review by Jack Foley
HOLLYWOOD seldom knows how to treat the UK when it comes to romantic comedies.
Whether it’s the horrid Irish stereotypes of PS I Love You, or the similarly Scottish trappings of Made of Honor, Tinseltown seems to view the UK as a quaint little land that’s full of kooky eccentrics.
Leap Year falls into the same trap and the results are every bit as grating.
Amy Adams stars as spoilt socialite Anna who follows her long-term boyfriend (Adam Scott) to Ireland in the hope of proposing to him and thereby take advantage of an old Oirish leap year custom.
When bad weather forces her to re-route to Cardiff instead, she is eventually forced to enlist the help of local publican and taxi driver Declan (Matthew Goode) to get her to Dublin… only to find their journey plagued with difficulties along the way.
Needless to say, the bickering duo soon unlock feelings for each other and Anna is faced with a difficult decision once she reaches her destination.
Anand Tucker’s rom-com is as formulaic as they come, ticking all the usual boxes en route to its soppy ending.
But it’s the depiction of Ireland as a backwards nation populed by kooky Guinness drinkers that really gets on your nerves… along with the notion that self-obsessed, neurotic female heroines are genuinely worthy of audience sympathy.
To be fair, Adams still manages to invest her character with enough charm to make her scenes bearable, while tapping into a nice sense of vulnerability late on.
While her chemistry with the roguish Goode is convincing and worthy of a much better film.
But with innumerable plot devices that strain credibility (such as being allowed to crash a wedding… and subsequently ruin the bride’s day) and a geographical knowledge that’s all over the place (to say the least), audiences are asked to make too big a leap of their own to really enjoy most of what unfolds.
The end result is yet another disappointing Hollywood rom-com that seems to think that simply sticking to formula and playing to stereotype is the key to ensuring a huge box office hit.
Even the most hopeless romantic should leap well clear.
Running time: 100mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release Date: July 12, 2010