Review: The Five Year Engagement

Taking a quick detour during Avengers Week, here is my review for The Five-Year Engagement.

The Five-Year Engagement

  • Starring:  Jason Segel (Knocked Up), Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau), and Chris Pratt (Wanted)
  • Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
  • Synopsis: “The director and writer/star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall reteam for the irreverent comedy The Five-Year Engagement.  Beginning where most romantic comedies end, the new film from director Nicholas Stoller, producer Judd Apatow (Knocked UpThe 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Rodney Rothman (Get Him to the Greek) looks at what happens when an engaged couple, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle.  The film was written by Segel and Stoller.” (Collider)
  • Rated: R for language and sexual content
  • Trailer:

We all know how romantic dramedies go (Romantic Dramedy- a film that crosses the genres of romantic comedy and drama), and how they all tend to end. Predictably. The majority of you may be able to figure out where this film goes. It’s the journey there that makes it fun. But, what you may not realize is just how long it takes to get there. The Five-Year Engagement is a pretty decent film that shares a look at a relationship and some rather realistic issues that face couples all over the world…the compromises of a couple in the name of love.

The Five-Year Engagement, unfortunately though, drags on for almost as long as its title implies.

Here are FIVE things to enjoy about The Five-Year Engagement.

1. Emily Blunt. I love Emily Blunt. I mean, look at her. Her eyes, her smile, just…wow! (Don’t tell Scarlett Johansson) 😀

She’s pretty much a perfect TEN!

In this film, she really does encapsulate the emotions and struggles you’d expect from a person in her predicament: In a dedicated relationship and stuck between her dream man and her dream career in academia. She plays the part believably and quite magnificently.

2. Chris Pratt and Alison Brie. This dynamically hilarious duo (Tom’s friend Alex and Violet’s sister) stole the show whenever they appeared on the screen. From rehearsal dinner speeches to wedding singers, they really brought the laughs. They had me laughing so much throughout.

3. Rhys Ifans (soon to be seen as The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-man). His performance in the film is fun, interesting, and slightly underrated and lost amid the collection of characters in this film, but he really is a part of the film that I quite unexpectedly enjoyed.

4. The life-like representation of a relationship that has its ups and downs, much like everyone’s. The movie appropriately shows the reality of the conflicts that hit so many relationships now as it is now super-common for both parties in a relationship to be involved in careers.

5. A Cookie Monster and Elmo conversation, and more of Judd Apatow’s brand of adult comedy that, while usually remains an acquired taste, is exacted superbly in this story adding the right amount of flair and enjoyment to the film. Smiles and laughter abound amid the awkward scenes and excruciating events.

All good reasons to enjoy the film.

However, here are FIVE things you may have to ignore to truly enjoy it.

1. The lack of portrayal of the passage of time. The title itself tells you that the engagement lasts 5 years. But, that’s the only way you know that. Aside from a mention AFTER the 5 years have passed telling you so. The linear passing of time is not very well portrayed to the audience during those 5 years. (Everything seems to take place within the same year, basically.)

2. The film is drawn out at times. With a running time of just over 2 hours, the film seems to drag in certain spots. I found myself wondering how much longer they would be doing the same song and dance back and forth before getting to an expected ending.

3. The infusion of multiple stories/characters tends to be a bit much, slightly overcomplicating the story. Didn’t even know Kevin Hart and Rhys Ifans were in this movie until I saw them on-screen. And was that Kelly Kapoor from The Office? Whaddya know? It sure was!

4. Jason Segel’s single-expression face regardless of what is going on. Always the same. Mad, Happy, Sad, etc. Observe. No Oscars here.

5. The added complication of additional relationship problems, compounded by rival siblings/friends, in addition to dwindling numbers of grandparents, on top of the challenge of career choices and relationship choices seemed to really pack on the possibilities to seem slightly improbable (not impossible, mind you). Adding to the “drawn out” statement above, all the aspects tossed together create more drama than necessary to get the story moving along.

That all being said, it still is an enjoyable Romantic Dramedy. I enjoyed The Five-Year Engagement, however, I propose that it could’ve been shorter! (See what I did there?! huh?!) 😀

Fun Fact: Several of the scenes in the trailer are actually not in the film. I liked the fact that it made it seem spoiler-free!

Score:  3 out of 5 stars for The Five-Year Engagement

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

up next: continued look at AVENGERS WEEK!


  1. Great review, T! Totally agree with basically every point. Emily Blunt is radiantly charming ALL. OF. THE. TIME. And that Elmo/Cookie Monster scene…honestly, I thought that was inspired. Would love to know how long that took to shoot because they did an excellent job of making it seem like one continuous shot.

    The passage of time thing is a great point, too. I’m usually not a fan of the, “8 Months Later” text popping up on screen but if nothing else, that would have helped a little here.

    Good job!


    • Brian, Thank you. Man, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen whenever Emily Blunt was there. She was, as you said, “Radiantly charming!”

      and I, too, want to know about them shooting that Elmo/Cookie Monster scene!

      Thanks for commenting on my review. Appreciate you looking in.


  2. Although this film doesn’t really interest me I do like Emily Blint so it is nice to see her film career progress. For that reason I’ll have to see how she gets on in this but that may wait until the DVD arrives.


  3. Hmm, all I’m hearing is mediocre-ness about this film. Think I’ll wait it out for TV. I love Jason Segel and adore Alison Brie. To hear that she’s one of the best things in this film makes me insanely happy! But … not happy enough to shell out for it.


    • haha. Alison Brie really did a great job. I didn’t really know her from anything else before and now I want to watch more of her movies. Let me know when you add this to your list of 100 movies for 2012. Because I know it will be on that list eventually! 🙂


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