Overlong “The Five-Year Engagement” still has fun despite runtime

By Wesley Emblidge

Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Chris Pratt and Alison Brie in "The Five-Year Engagement"

On the surface, “The Five-Year Engagement” sounds great. The director of “Forgetting Sarah Marshal” teaming up with his star from that movie, Jason Segel, on another R rated romantic comedy. A great cast makes it look even better, with Segal supported by Emily Blunt (“The Adjustment Bureau”), Chris Pratt (“Parks & Recreation”), Alison Brie (“Mad Men,” “Community”) and a whole slew of others that you’ll recognize from other comedies like this one. With all this talent, one expects a pretty great, fun, hilarious movie. However instead, we get about 45 minutes of fun at the beginning, and then a long period of time where the movie just really isn’t any fun because the characters are upset. With an over two hour running time, that’s a problem.

The plot if fairly simple, you can get most of it from the title. The film opens with Tom (Segel) attempting to propose to Violet (Blunt). From there, a variety of obstacles keep them from actually getting married, although none of these are that convincing. Blunt gets into a two-year psychology program in Michigan, so they get there and spend the whole two years claiming they’re “still settling in.” Then the program is extended, and Tom, who had to give up a great job in San Francisco to move to Michigan, becomes more restless. Yet they still put off the wedding, and from here things just get more ridiculous and weird. Violet gets shot in the leg with an arrow by their niece, Tom grows a half-beard of sorts (which becomes flat out disgusting to look at), or Tom hunting deer and making different foods out of them.

However the movie is fun, and has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. The supporting cast is great, which makes me really conflicted. I wanted more from them, even though I thought the movie was far too long. A movie centered around Pratt and Brie’s characters’ relationship probably would have made a better, or at least more fun, than what we got here.

In the end, it seems like “The Five-Year Engagement” can’t really decide if it wants to be a fun romantic comedy, or a sad romantic drama. It’s certainly possible to mix those together with a good result, but for this movie only the comedy half works. You just get frustrated at the characters, and want them to just have their wedding already. So sadly in the end, it’s relief when the movie’s finally over. It’s still fun, just not fun enough.

2.5/5 Stars