Love hurts, though not too badly, in Nicholas Stoller’s romantic comedy about a doe-eyed couple whose rose-tinted dreams of marital bliss are undone by the pressures of everyday life.
Penned by leading man Jason Segel and director Nicholas Stoller, The Five-Year Engagement trades heavily on the winning rapport between Segel and British actress Emily Blunt.
The leads, who are friends in real life, gel delightfully in front of the cameras and kindle sparks of sexual chemistry that have us rooting for their soon-to-be-weds when fate conspires to tear them apart.
Mirroring the central relationship, Stoller’s slick confection woos us with a terrific opening 30 minutes of zinging one-liners and colourful supporting performances.
Jacki Weaver is a hoot as the heroine’s sardonic and cynical mother who has suffered her fair share of heartache and scoffs at the myth peddled by Hollywood of a fairy-tale romance in which Tom Hanks gets the girl.
“The sad fact is, most relationships end up like Saving Private Ryan or Philadelphia,” she snipes.
For all its barbs and grim predictions of impending anguish, Stoller’s film is engineered with clinical precision to rouse and entertain, so you can be confident that the tears and bitter recriminations will be sweetened by a suitably feel-good denouement.