Love can be a touchy subject.
Jason Segal and Nicholas Stoller, who previously worked together on 2008 hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall, reunite as writer and director respectively for The Five-Year Engagement. With experienced romantic comedy personalities at the helm and Segal himself starring alongside Emily Blunt this project is certainly promising for rom-com fans.
On the surface The Five-Year Engagement isn’t a typical genre product and instead of a formulaic narrative Segal opts for a more focussed investigation into long-term relationships. Though they occasionally hint at an innovative approach to the exhausted genre, before too long its creators cling to the genre clichés it looked set to avoid and the resulting poorly scripted experience will leave you craving the end.
Despite being sparked by a moderately inviting concept, the narrative is marred by insufferably cheap attempts at comedy. A degree of coarseness is expected within contemporary comedy; it’s proving a very a popular approach (you only have to look at Judd Apatow’s success) but here, Segal and Stoller have gone too far. Genuine creative humour is replaced by racial stereotypes, contrived plot developments and unnecessary vulgarity.
With so few redeeming features and a runtime that nonsensically stretches beyond two hours this unengaging and ruthlessly disappointing cash in on the reputations of its stars isn’t even passable within the repetitive, cliché-ridden romantic comedy genre.