Although it could have used a bit of tightening (it’s just over two hours) “The Five Year Engagement” further solidifies the reputations of its co-creators (writer/actor Jason Segal, and writer/director Nicholas Stoller) as bankable.
You’ll recognize Segal’s trademark offbeat humor, plot structure, left-turns, and willingness to well, go nude… actually. There are similarities to Segal’s other screenplays (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) and a tribute to The Muppets that is excellent. “Engagement” also parodies other movies that have nothing to do with the rom-com genre, to great effect. The filmmakers also take awkward silence to a whole new level, with much of the humor being dependant on the space in between the jokes, as well as on the likability of its cast of characters. Yes, there are lulls to “Engagement,” and it probably could have been a touch shorter; but much of the interest during those times rests on the stars. Segal’s aw shucks delivery draws you in, and Emily Blunt is proving to be an actress who is the best part of whatever movie she is in. The great supporting cast brings it all home as well, with nary a false note in the bunch.
Some of “Engagement” you probably haven’t seen before, but even the parts you have are repackaged in such a way that it seems fresh; again, mainly because of the actors themselves, and the direction, which presents it in a way to make you squirm with delight. There are very quick and/or strictly visual jokes in the background, so much so that you may need to see it twice to catch them all. And the wind up is so delightful and sweet that it sweeps you along with it and is perfect capper to a great comedy.
Overall Score for “The Five Year Engagement” from Rich Bonaduce: A-
“The Five Year Engagement” is rated R for sexual content, and language throughout.
Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
Written by: Jason Segal (screenplay), and Nicholas Stoller (screenplay)