THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGMENT begins where a lot of romantic comedies end--with a marriage proposal.
The film also differs from the typical rom-com by being fairly realistic about the compromises and sacrifices that relationships often require.
And yet, make no mistake about it, THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT is also a very funny movie.
Emily Blunt is Violet and Jason Segel is Tom. They get engaged after a year of dating.
He's a successful chef in San Francisco; she just finished grad school in psychology there.
But right after they throw a party to celebrate their intentions the first major obstacle comes up. Violet is awarded a two year post doctoral fellowship in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Tom quickly agrees to give up his job and move there with her. Violet is relieved and grateful.
But what Tom so blithely accepts at first turns out to be way more than he bargained for. Michigan is very cold and he's reduced to a job making sandwiches in a deli.
Pressure from their families adds to their stress.
"Any idea when this wedding might happen?" asks her mother on Skype, sitting with her grandparents. "Grandparents can pass away, you know," her mother adds.
"But they're right there with you," Violet says.
Cut to a funeral scene. At the center is a large framed photo of the grandmother.
The movie is blessed with a terrific supporting cast. Chris Pratt as Tom's immature friend and Alison Brie as Violet's ditzy sister are pretty hilarious.
Although some of the situations are a bit ridiculous, even slapstick, most of the dialogue is spot on.
I really like hearing the main characters argue like a real couple. At one point a frustrated Tom tells Violet he wants to be alone, but when she starts to leave the room, he says, "I don't want you to go. I just need to be alone with you here."
Who can't relate to that kind of paradox?
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.