The Five-Year Engagement Reviews
From the beginning of The Five-Year Engagement, I found no concern in focusing on the story. I expected another predictable, routine romantic comedy. I must say I found myself pleasantly surprised by the final product since it is a way better example of how to make a film from that genre. The title of the film suggests there will be focus on a prolonged relationship, yet it was easy to get lost in the film and forget about its title. Since it is more focused on making viewers laugh, those who appreciate its virtues will find themselves caught up in the moment and enjoy the lighthearted nature of the experience.
The Five-Year Engagement moves along at a slow pace. Interested in building actual characters and emotions in its premise, The Five-Year Engagement progressively works to make sure that viewers genuinely care about the characters. A big part of this comes from the fact that the film depicts characters being funny in normal situations as well as the outlandish ones. Too many romantic comedies end up descending into dramatic cliches and forget to deliver sufficient laughs to viewers, yet The Five-Year Engagement detracts from its romantic-comedy roots with an unexpected abundance of genuinely ridiculous humour. Coming from unexpected directions and a largely talented cast, The Five-Year Engagement is cleverly able to wring comedy out of the reality in its premise and the cleverness of its screenplay as well as its large variety of energetic characters which really makes it a treat to watch.
Yet despite the humour in The Five-Year Engagement, it actually has some genuine drama. When I say genuine, I mean far from melodramatic yet not cheesy with its sentimentalities. The relationship depicted in The Five-Year Engagement is a very realistic one. In love, people make sacrifices for each other, yet often the passion two people share is not enough to constitute giving up on one's hopes and dreams to be with someone they want. The message in this sentiment is that love doesn't conquer all as it is not some kind of miracle cure but an emotional bond built upon the structural basis of conflict resolution and genuine trust among other things. The main characters both falter at times as neither of them are perfect just as neither are solely responsible for the majority of the flaws, depicting an even-sided relationship which is far more realistic than the standard for romantic comedy films promotes. The Five-Year Engagement is one of the most realistic depictions of an actual relationship I have ever seen in a major Hollywood film, and the fact that it is able to balance realism with genuine comedy so naturally is excellent. Even though the film succumbs to a cliche ending, the majority of the story cleverly manipulates things so that it isn't fully clear to viewers that it will ultimately conclude at this point. It is a little frustrating that it still ends there, but it doesn't take away from the value built from the rest of the story.
Occasionally there is a sense that the story stretches its material on for too long. The film is an entertaining one, but since it moves along at a slow pace the fact that it ends up stretching its material beyond two hours decreases the overall effect of the humour and pushes for a more dramatic edge at times. And since the film easily distracts from its main plot to find humour in all kinds of other different scenarios, there is a feeling that it can be rather scattershot at times.
But regardless of the pace or the tone of the mood, the cast in The Five-Year Engagement are consistently perfect.
Jason Segel leads himself through his own material with brilliant ease. Maintaining the same charming elements fans have come to love about him without copying too much of any other character, Jason Segel makes a genuinely likable lead for his depiction of sympathetic emotion while also having bursts of hilarious spirit. His natural charisma creates a believable character who audiences can easily connect to, maintaining a strong sympathetic edge the entire time which he is able to play to both comedic and dramatic benefit. Jason Segel is a perfect lead for The Five-Year Engagement and brings the material to life with ideal thematic focus.
But it is Chris Pratt who is the best cast member in The Five-Year Engagement. Around for all the film's best scenes and none of its worst, Chris Pratt is nothing short of comic brilliance every second he is on screen. Using is organic persona every waking moment while injecting enough energy to go into momentarily ridiculous territory, Chris Pratt is never short on life. He bounces off every character he interacts with and just steals the screen no matter who he is up against. Chris Pratt is a perfect addition to the cast in The Five-Year Engagement, rich with unstoppable comic life.
Emily Blunt is also a great lead. With a naturally charming spirit to her, Emily Blunt is able to share a very lovely chemistry with Jason Segel. There is a lot of passion between the two which evokes both comic and dramatic flair, bringing the relationship to life. Though she is predominantly a dramatic character more than anything, Emily Blunt is able to leave audiences really feeling touched by her gentle spirit. Her character always has the best intentions and faces the drama of natural human error, evoking a convincing emotional situation with the etiquette of her line delivery and her physical state. Emily Blunt works beautifully alongside Jason Segel.
Allison Brie delivers a delightful performance. Easily stepping out of the shoes of her character Annie Edison from the hilarious sitcom Community, Allison Brie delivers a very charming effort in The Five-Year Engagement. As well as evoking a genuinely friendly and likable persona, Allison Brie manages to use some loud emotion to push herself into comedic territory as well while being able to oscillate between the humour and drama with ease. Allison Brie's transition to the cinematic screen proves that her comedic touch works in a variety of characters, and she stands out very well amid the large cast of talent.
The supporting efforts of Randall Park and Kevin Hart are also pure comic gold every time they appear, and Mindy Kaling brings likability along.
So The Five-Year Engagement is a long and slow film, but it is a touching drama with a realistic depiction of relationships and plenty of hilarious comedy to make viewers think and laugh all while enjoying some brilliant performances.