‘The Five-Year Engagement,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


“The Five-Year Engagement” wrings a slightly different change on the old boy-meets-girl formula – and finds enough big laughs to make the whole thing enjoyable, even if it’s never particularly fresh.

Written by Jason Segel and Nick Stoller (who also directed), “Engagement” brings together the same mix of the romantic, the painful and the humiliating to create a solid comedy (though one that could afford to lose 20 minutes; ahh, the Judd Apatow influence).

Segel and Stoller also wrote “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” the movie that lifted Segel out of the throng of Apatown actors flooding the film market. Like Seth Rogen, he’s nobody’s idea of beefcake – but he’s an intensely human and open actor, who captures the restless energy of young adulthood. He also simmers better than a lot of his contemporaries, just before he boils over.

He plays Tom, a rising chef on the San Francisco restaurant scene. He’s involved with Violet (Emily Blunt), to whom he’s engaged to be married. A psychological researcher, Violet upsets their various plans when she is accepted for a fellowship at the University of Michigan. Tom puts his career on hold and follows her. They also postpone the wedding, figuring they’ll wait until the end of her fellowship before they move back to the Bay Area and get married.

This review continues on my website.

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