Stub Review – The Five Year Engagement

The Five-Year Engagement

Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are engaged to be married….in a movie that feels like it goes on for five long years.

I like Jason Segel. He is amazing in How I Met Your Mother, he brought my childhood favorite Muppets back to modern day popularity with his written/staring role in the latest Muppet movie, he was a supporting character in the likes of Knocked Up, and starred in/wrote the very underrated comedy Saving Sarah Marshall.  Emily Blunt was fantastic in The Devil Wears Prada and gave a darkly comedic performance in the very underrated Sunshine Cleaning with Amy Adams. She probably will have a long career ahead of her with great staring roles…but in this Judd Apatow, R-rated flick about the moments leading up to a marriage and not the big day itself…it just takes forever to get to the goddamn altar.

Last time Jason Segel paid a visit to the Stub Review, I spoke about how he was stuck in a mediocre film known as Jeff, Who Lives At Home (click and go see my original review of it). This time around, Segel is playing more himself than a laid back stoner type; he is giving us all the archetypes of a Jason Segel character we know and love, and Emily Blunt is chock full of British charm and cuteness…so where does it all go wrong? Well the run time for one…this movie is 124 minutes long. Another problem? Segel is an executive producer and credited as a writer, meaning he probably saw this as some sort of a personal/passion project of his — and that never helps.

You have the ingredients for a comedy with substance, two versatile actors, a really great supporting cast and a simple plot that could go in any direction — the feeling of prolonging an engagement for that “right moment.” So why does it all fall flat? To be completely honest, Segel and Blunt never give off the chemistry that you saw between Segel and Kunis in Saving Sarah Marshall. I never understood why they even got together in the first place, no matter how many goddamn times they replay that “first meet” in the film, it feels like I had to see Segel in a bunny suit at least 15 times for them to drive the point home with that scene.

I know I brought it up already, but Jesus H. Christ, that running time is just a killer. There is a point in the film where we see Segel just de-evolve into a caveman-looking drone after being stuck in Michigan for two years thanks to his fiancé. We spend what feels like 20 minutes with him as this person, and besides it telling us he is not happy, there was nothing in those 20 minutes that couldn’t have been cut. Yeah, seeing a little girl shoot an arrow in somebody’s leg makes for great trailer footage, but nothing was really needed. It killed the pace of the film.

Overall, if you’re a Jason Segel fan, or just a fan of his work in any capacity, I say give it a watch, because you might be entertained by his work in it…but if you are looking to see a film one late night with the misses, maybe wait till it hits Video-On-Demand in a few months, because there is no reason to plop down 21 bucks at your local theater to be put to sleep halfway through.

I give it a FIVE out of a TEN, on the scale of film merit and overall quality.

But I also give it a *GLANCE TOWARD MY WATCH* out of TEN, on the scale of how slow it moves and how long it is.

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