There are very few things about The Five Year Engagement that are going to come off as a surprise. It’s a studio backed romantic comedy, so it’s got some of the same beats we’ve seen time and time again. The challenge this film had going for it was whether or not it could sustain being funny during it’s entire runtime, which is where a lot of romantic comedies fail. It more than lives up to that challenge for the most part. It’s consistently funny throughout, and despite it’s predictability, it’s principal cast carry it beautifully.
Tom and Violet (Jason Segel and Emily Blunt) are your average, very adorable couple, and on the anniversary of when they first met and also celebrate New Years, Tom decides to propose to Violet. Hilarity ensues (like it always does in these movies) during the proposal and along they go to the wonderful institution of marriage. Eventually.
To fill a film with as massive a cast as this, everyone has to deliver in order for it to work. The only characters that don’t work play such a tiny part in the film it’s not as inherent a problem as it could be. Among the supporting cast that turn in some great performances are the main supporting actors Alison Brie and Chris Pratt, who are no doubt recognizable to fans of NBC shows Community and Parks and Rec. Chris Pratt being funny shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but in Engagement he plays a more subdued kind of of funny that we’re not used to seeing. Alison Brie on the other hand has proven that she has some definite comedic chops but even then in this film she really lets loose in a way that fans of hers will absolutely go nuts for. She’s even got a lovely British accent.
This film will of course ride on the chemistry of Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, who are no strangers to excelling in comedies. While Blunt doesn’t have as much experience portraying physical comedy as much as Segel, she more than handles herself here on several occasions.
The Five Year Engagement runs a little long at times, and a few of the characters get too much screen time so there’s definitely fat that could have been cut and this not be a 124 minute movie. But all that aside, and despite it’s predictable beats, it’s a more than enjoyable film, and one unique enough to along amongst it’s romantic comedy competition.