The Five Year Engagement as reviewed in The Phantom Tollbooth. Comedy this deep takes time & maturity & Jason Segel.


The new comedy, The Five-Year Engagement, goes a little deeper than one might think. Sure it has everything that you would expect from an R rated comedy written by Jason Segel and produced by Judd Apatow; but there are also a few hints of maturity in there too.

When you first read the title you conjure up thoughts of a guy dragging his feet when it comes to walking down the aisle. Or maybe a couple going through a perpetual on again off again relationship. But it is more about the strains of career vs. matrimony. Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) is a talented chef in San Francisco. He is one step away from head chef when his fiancé Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt) gets a chance to further her education and teaching credentials in Michigan. So Tom puts his career on hold for a few years and off they head up north. Both are willing to put off the vows until they get into a better situation. But soon 5 years have passed and they are both feeling the strains.

The scenario is different than most of this nature. We rarely see a film where a guy puts his career on hold and has to swallow his pride in a lowly role while his wife advances her situation. But it gives this one a much needed boost. Otherwise it would be the normal 120 minutes of sophomoric sex jokes and familiar dialogue. Before you get the idea that this is something enlightening or worth seeing, be aware that it is still mainly sophomoric sex jokes and familiar dialogue.

The cast work well together and Emily Blunt is as charming and loveable as always. You get what you expect from Segel but he is able to pull off the frustrated groom to be with conviction. Of course he shines the most in the slapstick scenes or when the joke needs a heavy punch. Chris Pratt and Alison Brie have some of the funniest moments and you look forward to seeing them on screen. I think this could have been a solid 90 minutes instead of 12o minutes with fluff and skit like moments.

The Five-Year Engagement is rated R for sexual content, and language throughout. This is certainly not a date night for anyone trying to avoid the awkward moments. The sex is frank and at times graphic; in that comedic sort of way. It is in the same vein as Bridesmaids when it comes to content but nowhere near that in terms of laugh out loud humor and gut busting situations. So you get the crudeness without the payoff in the end. Still, couples who like that crass style of humor will find it a decent outing. I give it 3 out of 5 bunny suits. But only barely. I would have been mad to have paid to see it, and would feel it better suited on the Blu-ray. Then you can stop it if you want and put it back in the slot.


Review copyright 2012 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.