I Give It a Year Reviews
Very good romantic comedy! This was just a breath of fresh air. It's a funny, witty, exquisitely entertaining, and has something for men and women to enjoy. The situations the characters find themselves in seem entirely natural and not forced which only makes them funnier and everyone done a really good job comically. I Give It a Year also concludes in a perfect way and one that stays true to the same awkward, sardonic tone the rest of the film adopts. To say it slaps in the face every film that wraps up with someone literally running to the airport last minute to proclaim their eternal love would be an understatement. A closer approximation would be that it puts those offerings in a sleeper hold and squeezes out every ounce of maddening cliché. It's satisfying, funny and refreshingly direct. This act is preceded by what is also one of the best "reunion" speeches I've ever heard. I won't spoil anything as to how it unfurls but it too is cooling in its candidness.
Newlywed couple Nat and Josh are deliriously happy despite their differences, though friends and family aren't convinced that they can last. With their first anniversary approaching and attractive alternatives in the mix, can they last?
A full twenty years later, the British rom-com is still following the template set down by 'Four Weddings & a Funeral'. Last year we had 'The Wedding Video', which gave the concept a found footage twist, and the critically lambasted 'The Knot'. On first appearances, 'I Give it a Year' seems to follow suit with its U.S imported love interests and comic actors in supporting roles. Early on, a character even describes the wedding as "like something from a Hugh Grant" film. Is writer/director Mazer acknowledging his own lack of originality? No, he's actually making a postmodern reference which quickly alerts you that all may not be what it first appears here.
Mazer subverts the rom-com template by making our protagonists the villains. Byrne and Spall are the sort of characters the romantic lead seems tragically destined to end up with before all is made right by a final reel airport dash. Rather than wish for two characters to get together, the idea here is that you spend the movie hoping they split up. It's a novel idea but that's really all Mazer's film has going for it. There simply aren't enough laughs and what few chortle provoking moments there are feel out of place. Every ten minutes or so a minor character appears and performs what amounts to a quick sketch. Some of these scenes raise a smile but feel tonally as though they belong in a different film. The motivations of the two central characters are boiled down to simplistic concepts; Spall only appears to be attracted to Faris once he sees her impressive cleavage, and Byrne seems more attracted to Baker's bank account than anything else. It's difficult to invest yourself in characters with such shallow goals.
There are, and no doubt will be in 2013, much worse rom-coms than this one but I'd give it much longer than a year before you commit to viewing this.
The plot is thin. It's definitely anti rom-com, but it also carries a rom-com script with it. If anyone has ever watched a Ricky Gervais comedy show or Stephen Merchant's new Hello Ladies on HBO, the scenes with disturb you, make you uncomfortable and give you jitters, but you'll be full of laughs and chuckles as it breezes by in a nice 90 minutes.
Good flick. It's like a British version of Forget Paris, but more entertaining. The whole third act was phenomenal. It's a lot like al those other "I'm going after the one I love before it's too late" scenes, but with a twist you didn't see coming. My grade: A-