Complete A-Z list

Five-Year Engagement, The


Stars: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, Jacki Weaver, Brian Posehn, Mimi Kennedy, David Paymer, Kevin Hart, Jim Piddock, Clement Von Franckenstein, Jane Carr, Michael Ensign

Director: Nicholas Stoller

By now, after Knocked Up, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Bridemaids, you should know what to expect from a movie from producer Judd Apatow. And, reunited with his ‘Sarah Marshall’ star and screenwriter Segel, Apatow definitely delivers another raw, often rude and lewd but ultimately eminently enjoyable collection of amusing situations and disgracefully entertaining dialogue charting the fraught semi-decade Segel and Blunt spend between their engagement and eventual marriage.

It’s love at first sight when Segel, ludicrous in a giant pink super-rabbit suit, first sees Blunt, dressed as Princess Diana (“Princess Diana doesn’t requite a superpower”, she informs him) across a crowded room.

After that it’s a case of love burgeoning, then thwarted, frozen, knocked about and generally treated badly, starting with Segel’s decision to cash in his dreams of becoming a top chef, leave San Francisco and travel to the icy Midwest with psychologist Blunt, who has been offered a two-year postdoctoral position under professor Ifans.

Inevitably, and ingeniously in Segel and his co-writer-director Stoller’s screenplay, the romance sours. As time passes, various elderly relatives pass away before the wedding can be consummated, Segel is forced to settle for a poor job in a fast-food outlet and Blunt literally ends up under Ifans…

Amusingly done bad taste spices the story.

A restaurant sign boldly announces “SAVE A COW – EAT PORK’.

Blunt’s young niece accidentally shoots her in the leg with the crossbow Segel uses when, converted to life away from the metropolis, he becomes a deer hunter and a forager for forest vegetables and ends up drunk without his trousers in a snowdrift.

All credit to Segel and Blunt whose charm and comic skills make their all-too- easy-to-caricature characters real and appealing. There are plenty of good jokes to keep you laughing as the riotous, frequently tastily tasteless romcom - marriage interruptus, if you like - segues cheerfully towards the resolution signalled in the title.

Alan Frank

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour.
124 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 21 Jun 2012