SYNOPSIS: The Five-Year Engagement stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt as a couple who just can't make it down the aisle. From career challenges to family pressure and a host of other obstacles, the couple try to plan the perfect wedding but can their relationship survive the continuously prolonged engagement?


I promised myself some day when I retire I will re-watch every one of Judd Apatow productions again to see if it’s really funny. Obviously not every flick he touched is gold (see “Year One” and “Fun With Dick And Jane”) yet the successful writer/director/producer of hits such as “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up” still have what it takes to make an ordinary rom-com enjoyable. Case in point, “The Five Year Engagement”.

Produced by Apatow, co-written by leading man, Jason Segel and director Nicholas Stoller, the movie takes a solid look at how two lovers spent five heartache years trying to get hitched. Meet Tom (Segel), a successful San Francisco sous-chef who is happily in love with Violet (Emily Blunt), a PhD graduate. The two lovebirds are ready for each other and Violet has agreed to Tom’s proposal. Just when they are about to get married, Violet gets accepted into a post-doctorate program in Michigan and their wedding plans got delayed. The reluctant Tom has to leave his promising career to move to Michigan with Violet. And it’s there at icy cold Michigan, their once loving relationship took a dive and things got worse than expected.

“The Five Year Engagement” is an engaging, sometimes poignant and sometimes raunchy love journey of Tom and Violet. It can be pretty formulaic but it works mainly because of the sizzling chemistry between Segel and Blunt who has appeared together earlier in the Jack Black’s flop “Gulliver’s Travel”. Segel who broke into superstardom in another of Stoller’s comedy, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” has the charm of an everyday’s man to pull off a character that descends into near madness because of all the uncertainty and waiting for his fiancée to finish her studies. Look out for the crazy antics involving his obsession with hunting and yes he gets to show off some rear nudity instead of his family jewels this time round.

As per any Apatow production, the flick is filled with oddballs ranging from Tom’s buddy Alex (Chris Pratt), Violet’s sister, Suzie (Alison Brie), a stay-at-home daddy and Violet’s postgraduate classmate, a masturbation-obsessed Kevin Hart. Pratt stole the show with his occasional wisecrack and silly performance (Pratt can sing in Spanish and he is surprisingly good) and watch out for Blunt and Brie’s impersonations of Elmo and Cookie Monster that is genuinely funny. Minus the appearances of Apatow’s regulars, Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill, the supporting cast here deserved a special mention alone. Not forgetting newly crowned Spider-Man villain, the underrated Rhys Ifans playing Violet’s professor who harbours alternative motive.   

While the story took a long detour to get back to the crux, “The Five Year Engagement” is a testament to Segel’s storytelling skills (he even throws in a shocking frostbite scene to catch your attention). This rom-com has all the ingredients that make it works; it will make you shed tears of sadness and laugh-out-loud at all the absurdness. This Apatow-produced comedy is a recommended flick. 


You can skip the 9 minutes Gag Reel and a pointless Deleted Scene and jump straight to the 5 Extended and Alternate Scenes where you can certainly find some more laughs.


Audio obviously is not remarkable consider the genre but dialogue remains strong and clean throughout while colours and image detailing are consistently presentable and excellent.  



Review by Linus Tee