Film
Apr 11, 2012

FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT: ADVANCE SCREENING, Q & A

The director and writer/star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall reteam for the irreverent comedy The Five Year Engagement. Beginning where most romantic comedies end, the new film from director Nicholas Stoller, and producers Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) and Rodney Rothman (Get Him to the Greek), takes a look at what happens when an engaged couple- Jason Segel and Emily Blunt- keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle.

We attended last night’s advance screening and actor Q & A presented by Film Independent at the LACMA. It was an industry hot ticket! Upon entering the theater we were humurously, but seriously, warned by the curator of the film series, “If this movie is ripped off you will be BANNED to only AMC movie theaters to which I feel sorry for you”. Hope my review doesn’t cause any riffs to which I get banned to stale popcorn and dirty theaters instead of being in a room filled with avid movie enthusiasts!

The film stars an A-List cast and adds to the fun with roles by NBC sitcom stars Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation) and Alison Brie (Community- with a British accent!), as well as features film star Jackie Weaver and a plethora of other star cameos!

Jason Segel reteams for this knockabout ‘comedy of misery’, in which Segel plays Tom, whose relationship with fiancé Victoria (Emily Blunt) goes through a series of changes over their epic engagement period.

Five Year Engagement had me laughing right from the beginning. Jason Segel’s character (Tom) tries to plan the perfect proposal but much like most of us women, Emily Blunt’s character (Victoria) questions him to no end until Tom gets nervous and blurts out his surprise. Once announced to the family, everyone starts to question “is this right?”  Are you sure you want to be married? The mother of the future bride says marriage is not like the romantic comedies in the movies, where it starts out with the handsome Tom Hanks… marriage is more of a Saving Private Ryan type of movie. I thought it was a brilliant analogy.

The movie takes us through all the trials and tribulations of relationships where couples face real problems, like landing your dream job in frigid Michigan while your significant other has his dream job in sunny San Francisco. Who should make the sacrifice? What happens when you make the leap for the other person and then your dreams fall through the cracks? Love mixed with resentment is never a good combination!

My favorite scene of the movie was probably the dialogue between Emily Blunt & Alison Brie in which they have a full blown serious conversation using Elmo and Cookie Monster voices. All I can say is “C is for condom!”

If my review seems a bit vague, my apologies, but I don’t want to spoil the film (or be banned from the LACMA film series because it’s awesome!). Trust me, Five Year Engagement is definitely worth the wait! This is a must see, hilariously funny romantic comedy.

After the movie the director Nicholas Stoller and actor/writer Jason Segel came out for a brief Q & A and made some memorable quotes about life, relationships and what the movie means to them .

Curator: Why did you choose this title? It kind of gives away the whole movie.

A: We wanted a title that people would understand. It also comes from long relationships that don’t really go anywhere. In making this film, we talked about how in relationships, people don’t always have the strength to break up so they go along until something bad happens. Couples don’t know how to “talk”.  In the movie, the characters beat around the bush until one of them snaps. The characters lead the audience to unexpected places. Our hope is that you will  leave this movie feeling good and in pain from laughing so hard.

I sure did. Here are a few memorable quotes from Segal and Nichols that I took away from the commentary:

“When people get married they really mean “I do at this moment.”

“You can’t over think love, you have to just do it or not.”

“Life is complicated, better to have viable options.”

“Pick the best cookie and take a bite.”

“Two people always try to be sure, just take a bet and go for it.”

Sounds like sound advice, even if it’s from a guy who took five years to walk down the aisle! Five-Year Engagement has been selected to open the 11th annual Tribeca Film Festival and hits theaters on April 27th. Watch the trailer here. Visit their engagement blog!