The Five Year Engagement

The Five Year Engagement

It feels like it took five years to watch this movie.

Quizzically staring at the blue screen, I could not stop wondering why. Why had I believed I would like this film? Sure, it starred a couple of people I like—Emily Blunt and Jason Segel—and it seemed like an entertaining notion enough, but I don’t normally like rom-coms in the first place. What was it that hooked me in and raised my expectations?

Oh, yes. The association with Bridesmaids. I suppose anything that’s associated with the funniest movie ever made—a movie that finally gets being female and surrounds female friendships rather than the whole “getting the boy” syndrome—is bound to get my attention.

It was a poor association, even if made by the same folks, because The Five Year Engagement was not engaging at all. It was annoying, sometimes gross, and more depressing than anything else. Blunt, typically a seemingly smart young woman, was made to appear quite stupid a few times in the film, while Segel’s character was so one-dimensional—and later, so bland and pathetic that you wonder why they are together in the first place—that it made my eyes burn to watch them. They had more chemistry in Gulliver’s Travels, for Pete's sake! Forget humor, forget romance; there was just this sort of hopelessness that makes you want to turn off the DVD player. I wish that I had.

There were moments—a number of which I could count on a single hand, mind you—that were fun or romantic, but since you’re not connected to the characters, they don’t really matter. And while Blunt’s boss hits on her, Segel finds out and purposefully seeks out a coworker whom he tries to sleep with like an idiot.

And though Blunt is supposed to be a successful psychologist, it turns out that she is being promoted over and over again because her boss wants to sleep with her—while Segel is supposedly so talented he deserves to be a chef of his own restaurant on his own merits. These two parallels create a completely unnecessary sexism in the film, which is just annoying and stupid on top of its pathetic nature.

It really is too bad, because I could have thought of dozens of other directions for this script that would have been much more enjoyable. I am sure you could, too, so don’t bother with the movie. Write your own instead; it will be much more fun.