One look at The Five-Year Engagement and you’ll know it’s a Judd Apatow production. It’s got all the Apatow touches like profanity, men acting like children and a stellar supporting cast. Co-written by Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, the movie stars Emily Blunt and Segel as Violet and Tom, a recently engaged couple who go through many obstacles to keep their relationship afloat.

Check out our review of The Five-Year Engagement

The Players:

  • Directors: Nicholas Stoller
  • Writers: Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel
  • Executive Producer: Judd Apatow
  • Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Chris Pratt

The Plot:

When Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) proposes to his girlfriend Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt), things don’t go as planned. The pair has to relocate after Violet’s offered a job at the University of Michigan, inadvertently pushing their engagement back five years (hence the title). This gives them more than enough time to question whether or not their marriage is actually in the cards.

The Good:

  • The Supporting Cast: The supporting cast is top notch, many of them picked from NBC’s current Thursday night line-up. There’s Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation; Alison Brie from Community; and Mindy Kaling from The Office. Each is given their moment to shine and they bring it. Pratt and Brie pick up the film when it gets a bit slow and have their fair share of witty banter; While Kaling is similar to her Office character [Kelly Kapoor] making smart remarks and gossipy comments. There’s also the fabulous Jacki Weaver, an amazing dramatic actress, who proves she can tackle comedy just as well. Then there were actual comedians like Kevin Hart, Brian Posehn and Chris Parnell, who showcased their individual humor.
  • Wacky Premise, But Good Story: Stoller and Segel’s story begins where most romantic comedies end — after the protagonists have fallen in love. Their job was to follow a couple that’s already achieved what most rom-com characters are looking for. Therefore, the screenplay had to keep us engaged and interested in something else — and it did. The Five-Year Engagement explores the realities of long-term relationships, touching upon themes of love and loss.
  • Lunch Scene (With Tom And His Parents): There’s a great scene between Tom and his parents (played by David Paymer and Mimi Kennedy) that literally saves the whole movie from being another typical romantic comedy. In these films, characters tend to magically realize they’re in love with someone, but not here. Tom gets help from his parents. They pull him out of the black hole he’s carved for himself and remind him that Violet is the love of his life. It’s a truly eye-opening moment for him. That scene saves this movie.

The So-So:

  • Jason Segel and Emily Blunt: Tom and Violet are a lovely couple, but their relationship never reaches a level of passion that makes us believe they’re ridiculously in love with each other. It’s more like they’re really good friends — best friends. The problem is that their characters are too laid back and even when they get into heated arguments it seems like they’re not really fighting, just pretending.

The Bad:

  • Long Run-Time: Unfortunately, The Five-Year Engagement is about 15-20 minutes too long. There definitely could have been some more tightening up and cutting of the running gags. The movie felt like the energizer bunny, it just kept going and going and going. Good for batteries, bad for movies.


The Five-Year Engagement is funny. It’s filled with great TV actors and comedians, and the script is made by two guys who’ve honed their craft. With that said, it’s a little long in the tooth, but still worth watching. This is definitely an Apatow film, and if you’re a fan of his, this is necessary viewing.

Rating: 7.5/10

The Five-Year Engagement opens in theaters on April 27, 2012.

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