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Movie Review – The Five-Year Engagement

Jason Segel is on fire. It seems that the more he gets involved in Hollywood the more he perfects his craft, both in acting and, more impressively, his writing. He has quickly become a crucial staple in the comedy genre, and The Five-Year Engagement is definitely going to cement him into that position. Since this film is the follow-up to Forgetting Sarah Marshall in his writing career, I can’t help but believe that he is just as talented as a writer as he is as an actor, and that we still have only seen the tip of the iceberg with what he can write.

This film did for me what The Hangover and Horrible Bosses did in that it felt like a breath of fresh air from the slew of Apatow-esque films that, as entertaining as they may be, never seem to truly evolve. This film felt like the reinvention of the comedy genre, with jokes so off-the-wall I couldn’t help but continuously ask myself, “How did they come up with this stuff?” Of course I mean this in the best possible way. When I first saw the trailer for this film, I looked forward to the romantic comedy it seemed to be. Sitting down in the theatre and actually watching it, however, turned out to be a very different movie-going experience from what I had anticipated.

The film begins on a rather light note, further solidifying what I now like to refer to as the “Romantic Comedy Theory,” by introducing us to the love story through an awkward yet incredibly adorable marriage proposal. Almost immediately after that blissful moment, however, the film really shifts into gear and has you laughing from beginning to end.

What I really enjoyed about the story was that the writers (Segel and the film’s director, Nicholas Stoller) weren’t afraid to explore deep human emotions.  When the comedic aspects of the film are removed, the core of the film is about the ups and downs of relationships and the hardships that must be overcome to be with the one you really love. The film would actually be quite depressing if the comedy didn’t come out as smoothly as it did. Fortunately for the audience, what we get is a great story that perfectly balances comedy and drama.

This film also wouldn’t be what it is without the incredibly talented cast. Every single actor, from Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, to the supporting cast of family and co-workers, stepped up their A-game to brilliantly deliver every single clever line they were given to play with. My favorite performance came from Alison Brie, who played Blunt’s adorable and kooky younger sister, Suzie. The minute I saw her give the most awkward engagement toast ever to be captured on film, I knew there was something magical about this actress.  I am praying that this film brings along more, equally genius, roles for her in the future.

She wasn’t the only actor who gave a stand-out performance in this film, though. I still find myself amused at what Chris Pratt has done with his career. I first saw him in the far-too-dramatic WB show Everwood, so to see him take on the insane Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation was rather jarring, to say the least, but in a good way. Comedy is clearly what he was born to do, and this film successfully serves as proof of that fact.

I think this film serves as a great example of what we have to look forward to as movie-goers. I feel like we’re in the middle of a comedy genre revolution, and I can’t wait to see what happens next now that people seem to really know how to mix comedy and emotion, as was beautifully displayed in this film. For a fun movie-going experience, go see this film as soon as you can! How can you say no when I’m giving it 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls?