I Give It a Year Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 3, 2013
A solid twist on the rom-com genre.

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?
Bathsheba Monk
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2013
A fun evening watching other people's blind choices. Makes me feel better about my own. Not marriage-wise,that's rock solid, but choices that involve trusting my first instincts about people which are invariably wrong. In fact, I should probably make a rule that if I like someone immediately, it means they're an entertaining sociopath and just walk away and if I find someone boringly normal, get the contact information like right away and let the collaboration begin! Back to the movie: what I really liked about it is that everyone was trying to behave in a moral way even though they knew they screwed up by not fighting for what they really wanted.
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2013
Not bad. A few laughs. Just the digital photo frame scene was worth watching for. Josh and Nat aren't all that convincing as a couple, but I guess there's a reason for that.
Super Reviewer
February 15, 2013
A wonderfully rubbish movie, one of those movies that shows as all the best parts in the trailer!
Super Reviewer
½ November 22, 2012
A charming cast, mostly solid jokes and an ending that is as anti-romance as you could get (and was also pretty sweet).
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2014
Bland and uninspired, I Give It A Year is a rote and stereotypical romantic comedy. Newlyweds Josh and Natasha have their love tested as they discover eccentricities about each other during the course of their first year of marriage, leading them to question whether or not they'll be able to make it work. Featuring Rose Byrne, Simon Baker, and Anna Faris, the cast is fairly solid. However, the writing is especially poor, and all of the jokes and plot turns can be seen coming from a mile away. I Give It A Year delivers a few laughs, but it's just too predictable.
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2013
Having wed after a mere seven months together, Spall and Byrne quickly come to realize the mistake they've made. When Spall's ex-girlfriend (Faris) returns to London, his feelings for her are rekindled while at the same time, a hunky millionaire (Baker) becomes a client of Byrne's PR firm and sweeps her off her feet. To save their future, the unhappy couple see an inept marriage counselor (Colman) who suggests they try to make it to a year before making a final decision on their troubled marriage.
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.
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2013
British humor cracks me up, and I Give it a Year does an excellent job with dry, tough to take comedy that leaves you squirming in your seat but ultimately laughing out loud. Rose Byrne is the female lead, and after her brief bit of comedy in Bridesmaids, she has a nice follow up here. The bangs don't work, though. As for Anna Faris as the secondary, she's the essential girl you'd want to be your girl friend. I think she's hilarious. Rafe Spall, known by Americans for some of his work in Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz comes off as a decent male lead. Most of his comedy is more goofy shenanigans than verbiage. I've never seen Simon Baker in anything but the Mentalist, but he's got a decent presence on camera enough to carry his weight.
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.
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2013
A British romantic comedy meets humor the likes of "The Office", the phoned in "I Give It A Year" stars a welcoming cast with nothing to show for it. Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, and Simon Baker lead this strange rigamarole of a comedy, where Nat (Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) fall in love and get married, while Nat's sister Naomi (Minnie Driver) utters the words, "i give it a year". From there on, we're subject to a couple we know isn't right for each other, as they struggle to stay monogamous while the temptation of new love (Baker) and old love (Faris) plays heavy handed. Although the viewer is likely to be cheering for these side romances, I desperately didn't want any of the couples to succeed, as everyone came off annoying and unwilling to change in the slightest. With most of the laughs coming from Stephen Merchant, who plays the inappropriate friend for about five whole minutes, the other highlights involve a very attractive Anna Faris in a bra. Besides falling on the realistic side of today's romances, including the telegraphed ending, "I Give It A Year" is less than perfect and somewhat misses its mark, but with such a fun cast of characters to watch, it's hard to stay completely mad at the film.
Super Reviewer
July 12, 2013
'Give it a miss' would be a more appropriate title.
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2013
A cruder British rom-com than I'm used to this has some funny moments and a strong comic performance from Rafe Spall. Unfortunately Byrne's character is annoying and therefore half of the romantic storyline becomes redundant. Nevertheless the story is a nice twist on the usual 'boy meets girl' plot even if it's not really a date movie like Richard Curtis films.
½ April 24, 2014
An interesting perspective of what you think would be similar to any other romantic comedy. It's a twist on an old story that works in a completely new way.
September 16, 2014
I've never found the "Love Actually" type British romantic comedy humor to be very good or funny. I give it a little credit for trying to be different in its romantic couplings, but it makes both of the leads unlikable and not very interesting.
November 27, 2013
I'm not a big fan of most rom-com's, but... I really liked this one. It's hilarious. It's charming. Rose Byrne & Rafe Spall are great, but the supporting cast almost steals the whole movie from them; Minnie Driver, Stephen Merchant, Anna Faris. I think what I really enjoyed, is that I Give It a Year is not your usual rom-com and it has what the genre really lacks these days; something different, it's not as predictable but still a little cheesy. I could watch it over and over.
½ November 19, 2013
Not romantic enough to win over our hearts, and too filthy to really be funny. I'm not saying I don't enjoy a good filthy comedy (like Borat or Bruno, which writer/director Dan Mazer was a part of), but this film just doesn't make it work. The two leads try to balance filthy and sweet, and they make it work, but the peripheral characters are just crude cardboard cutouts of characters. It gets better in its third act, because the leads become the center, but it never truly succeeds where it's interesting premise wants it to.
½ August 31, 2013
The word "awkward" is thrown about a time or two in I Give It a Year ... and that is exactly the word I would use to describe most of this film. I Give It a Year is the story of two young adults who meet cute and fall in love (nearly instantly) which results in a wedding a mere seven months later. The line "I Give It a Year" is uttered at the wedding by a close friend/family member of hers (Minnie Driver - Goldeneye) and it conveys the entire feeling of the film. Do we want this young couple -- Rose Byrne (Sunshine) and Rafe Spall (Life of Pi) -- to be doomed? Do we want to laugh at their little moments of annoyance and frustration or are we supposed to want to see their relationship succeed although it is clearly obvious he is better suited for his ex-girlfriend (Anna Faris - The House Bunny) who'd be out of the picture for four years in Africa and she is better with the slick and suave businessman (Simon Baker - The Devil Wears Prada) whose account she is trying to woo as he woos her? The film has both an easiness to it and an un-ease ... as the actors are all easily credible enough in their roles but the unease with the tough situation wears and weighs heavily on the film. What and for whom are we rooting? It is rather awkward. Byrne is an actress I have really grown to like and I believe she is quite good -- I even loved her bad character in Bridesmaids -- and so it is a testament to her talent that I loathed her wishy-washy-ness here and her flagrant disrespect of her husband (it is a character thing ... nothing about a "wife" role so please read don't this incorrectly). She is just not that nice. There are other moments of awkwardness too ... some of the humor is questionable and uncomfortable and not-highly believable in the situations the film provided. It is an alright film ... but I don't think that is great praise. It is awkward praise.
½ August 23, 2013
A couple are in a bad marriage and they realize through a crazy chain of events they are better off with the ones they love than who they are with.
June 24, 2013
Saw this on VOD before its theatrical release.

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-
March 22, 2013
The ending was bizarre, but it was totally funny. Witty movie, sort of liked it. Not much chemistry between the couples though.
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