Review: The Five-Year Engagement: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt's "Effortless Charm Goes a Long Way"

Entertainment Apr. 27, 2012 AT 9:20AM
Review: The Five-Year Engagement: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt's "Effortless Charm Goes a Long Way" Credit: Universal Studios

Us Rating: ***

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It takes just five minutes to fall in love with Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt). Rushing to a San Francisco rooftop restaurant in the first scene, the amiable couple good-naturedly shrug off their botched and awkward engagement. Their effortless charm goes long way in a meandering -- and surprisingly bittersweet -- romantic comedy.

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The pair's trouble starts soon after the proposal, when Violet gets accepted into a psychology postdoctoral program at the wintry and offbeat University of Michigan. Their big move to the Midwest is a game-changer: The comely Brit thrives n her studies; the city-boy chef takes a lowly deli job, grows a grizzly beard and learns how to hunt deer. Only some of this plays for laughs.

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In fact, it's up to scene-stealing players Chris Pratt (his BFF) and Alison Brie (her sister) to provide the bulk of the zingers -- most memorably during a disastrous visit to Ann Arbor -- as Tom and Violet bicker their way into a relationship black hole.

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By the time they finally reach the five-year mark, audiences will wonder what's so special about marriage in the first place. Still, it's impossible not to root for the immensely appealing Segel and Blunt (such an inspired pairing!) -- or smile during the hammy, but adorable, final act. Say yes.

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