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The Five Year Engagement - DVD Review

The Five-Year Engagement

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

JASON Segel and Emily Blunt make an endearing couple at the centre of comedy-drama The Five Year Engagement but just like the relationship at the centre of the story the film itself also hits some rocky patches.

Co-written by Segel and long-time collaborator Nicholas Stoller (of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Muppets fame), the film picks up at the point where most rom-coms end, with a proposal, and then examines what happens when the engaged couple keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle.

Some parts of the ensuing story are very funny while others take the film into darker, more surprising territory as issues of infidelity, sacrifice and career come into play.

But it’s a measure of the film’s success – and the charisma of its leading pair – that audiences should continue to root for them throughout.

And it deserves praise for daring to offer something alternative and more emotionally true than your average Hollywood rom-com. Some of the situations it puts forward are genuinely squirm-inducing.

Where the film sometimes goes wrong is in stretching things out for just over two hours (a familiar shortcoming of a lot of Judd Apatow produced comedies), thereby running the risk of having the joke wear extremely thin.

Indeed, some gags are repeated too often and cease being funny, while some of the situations end up feeling contrived and protracted.

That said, Segel and Blunt make a charming couple and clearly enjoy each other’s company (they are real-life friends), while there’s strong support from Alison Brie and Chris Pratt, as two friends who seem to have their lives more together, and Rhys Ifans, as a potential love rival.

The well realised finale, meanwhile, means that the film ends on a genuinely feel-good, warm-hearted note that doesn’t feel contrived or overly sentimental. It just feels right, rather like a lot of what Segel (in particular) is producing at the moment (from Muppets to Jeff, Who Lives At Home).

Certificate: 15
Running time: 124mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: October 29, 2012