Oscar nominee Amy Adams once again takes on the romantic comedy genre with her latest film, Leap Year. It’s a mix of fantasy, charm, and bitter reality all rolled into one. Imagine her character Giselle from Enchanted with a more expensive wardrobe, but the same naive view on relationships. Leap Year offers the opposites attract scenario with a different location, and a few new faces. Take a look at one of the first rom-coms of 2010…
- Director: Anand Tucker
- Writers: Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont
- Starring: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott, John Lithgow
- Cinematography by: Newton Thomas Sigel
- Music: Randy Edelman
- Executive Producers: J.C. Spink and Su Armstrong
Leap Year centers on the uptight and extremely professional couple of Anna and Jeremy. While contemplating the next step of their relationship Anna notices that Jeremy isn’t moving quickly enough in the marriage department so she decides to take matters into her own hands. Every four years (during a leap year) on February 29th, women from all over flock to Ireland to pop the question to their long time beaus.
Anna decides to participate in the tradition but finds herself lost and on the opposite side of the country. She meets and hires a reluctant bartender named Declan (Goode), to take her to Dublin so she can make it before the special date. During their trip the unlikely duo’s general dislike for one another turns into genuine love. By the time Anna finds Jeremy, it’s unclear whether or not he’s the man she truly wants to be with.
- Matthew Goode: Hands down, Goode’s performance as Declan was the best part of this film. On paper, the character comes across as arrogant, selfish, and mean spirited, but somehow the actor turns him into Prince Charming. Not to mention Goode’s spot on Irish accent, which was pitch perfect. His dialect was so on point that it’s hard to believe that underneath it all he’s really British.
- Location: Ireland was a secondary character in Leap Year, and got just as much screen time as the actors. After watching this film you’ll want to book a trip overseas to see what the country has to offer. There were plenty of beautiful shots that highlighted the landscape as well as a few historical ruins that were written into the plot.
- Set Design: The design of Anna and Jeremy’s apartment as well as Declan’s pub matched perfectly with their characters. They were physical manifestations of what the three of them represented. The urban high rise apartment was technically beautiful, but cold and superficial much like Anna’s relationship. Declan’s pub was shabby (not chic), and showed a lack of care on his part, which definitely matched his closed outlook on life.
- The Underuse of John Lithgow: Why cast someone as amazing as John Lithgow in a film if you’re only going to use him for a cameo? He stars as Anna’s father, and is belittled to a drunk who spews tales of the “good ‘ol days.” The actor got more air time in the trailer than he did in the film, and that’s sad considering his impressive resume that spans over thirty years.
- Story: The opposites attract theme has been used in movies, television, and plays since their inception. This film does nothing to alter that story to make it more interesting. They just changed the location to Ireland, and threw in the concept of women proposing marriage on a mystical day and that was it.
Leap Year is a typical rom-com that falls in line with what we’ve all seen before. It doesn’t serve you with a grand story that will tug at your heart strings or stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s mediocre in every sense of the word. If you are interested in seeing a diabetically sweet tale of unexpected love, that plays into every stereotype known to man, give Leap Year a shot.
Leap Year opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, January 8, 2010.