The Five-Year Engagement
DVD Review by Kam Williams
Raunchy Romantic Comedy Revolves around Wedding Day Delayed
This underwhelming endurance test certainly trades in all of the anticipated staples of any Judd Apatow production, if his sophomoric brand of humor suits your taste. There’s the gratuitous male nudity, the coarse jokes with profanity serving as punch lines (“Suck my bleeping bleep!”), and such suggestive sight gags as a character simulating sex by gyrating his hips behind a carrot dipped in whipped cream.
Much of this comic relief arrives courtesy of an ethnically-diverse support team comprised of an Asian (Randall Park), an East Indian (Mindy Kaling) and an African-American (Kevin Hart). But beyond the skits falling flat, the tortoise-paced picture has bigger problems in an abysmal script and romantic leads with no screen chemistry.
The oil-and-water casting of loose cannon Jason Segel opposite prim-and-proper Emily Blunt has disaster written all over it. His Tom Solomon is a Sous-chef who dreams of opening a restaurant in San Francisco, while her Violet Barnes is a recent Ph.D. with hopes of landing a teaching position at Berkeley in Psychology.
Just past the opening credits, she accepts his marriage proposal and puts on the ring, although they both agree that it might be wise to delay tying the knot until their careers have had a chance to blossom. That decision doesn’t sit well with their aging relatives, but at least it means they won’t have to decide right away whether to be married by a minister or a rabbi.
As time passes, the protagonists find additional excuses to postpone the nuptials, like when her sister Suzie (Alison Brie) is left pregnant after a one-night stand with his best friend, Alex (Chris Pratt). Eventually, Violet and Tom drift so far apart that it’s not much of a surprise when she sleeps with the head of her department (Rhys Ifans) or when he’s seduced behind the salad bar by a cute co-worker (Dakota Johnson).
“Can this relationship be saved?” may be the burning question, but don’t expect to care when you’ve never really been asked to invest emotionally in such an unsympathetic pair of hesitant hedonists.
Fair (1 star)
Rated R for sexuality, nudity, coarse humor and pervasive profanity.
Running time: 124 minutes
Distributor: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
2-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Feature commentary by the director, a producer and the principal cast; deleted, extended and alternate scenes; gag reel; Line-O-Rama; Experiment-O-Rama; Weird Winton; Gonorrhea Trouble; Top Chef: Alex Eilhauer; The Making of Five Year Engagement; The Making of Gastrocule; The Making of Turkey; digital copy; BD-Live; pocket BLU app; uHEAR and more.
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