When Tom and Violet get engaged after only dating a year, some worry they are rushing into things, but a series of unexpected life changes delay the big day five years. When Violet (Emily Blunt) gets accepted to PHD program in another part of the country, Tom (Jason Segal) agrees to quit his job as a sous chef at a hot restaurant to help her follow her dream, however, Michigan is an odd fit for Tom. While Violet is the star student in her group and her contract extended, the best job Tom can find is in a sandwich shop and he slips deeper and deeper into depression. The two patiently await the perfect time for their wedding, but eventually learn that there’s never a perfect time for anything and sometimes you just have to pick a cookie and eat it, but more on that later.
One thing I like about Jason Segal’s writing is that there’s something refreshing untrained about it. His scripts are sprinkled with specifics that you know must have been inspired by moments of his life. He also is more than willing to “go there”, he’s never afraid to appear nude or perform a revealing sex scene. There are also a lot of familiar faces in his films. He clearly puts thought into who he wants to spend his time with when filming. I feel like more than the vast majority of actors, you get to know Jason Segal as a person when you watch his work.
Early in the movie, Hubby pointed out that all their troubles could have been easily been avoided. Their biggest problem is that Tom had to give up his culinary career so Violet could further her studies and continue on the road towards becoming a professor. Michigan is not know more its culinary scene but its cost of living is extremely low, so Hubby said Tom should have tried to start his own business, and then later in the movie, Tom does start his own business after he moves back to San Francisco and agrees to relocate the business to Michigan to be with Violet again. The whole movie could have been avoided if they had just thought of that of when they first moved! It makes the rest of the film a little tiresome being based on such a flimsy conflict.
In the end, the message seemed to be you can’t wait for that moment for when everything is perfect. This is highlighted by the relationship between Violet’s sister Suzie (Alison Brie) and Tom’s best friend Alex (Chris Pratt). The two hook-up at Tom and Violet’s engagement party and quickly marry when Suzie discovers she’s pregnant. The two repeatedly throw caution to the wind and build a relatively happy little family for themselves. Brie and Pratt are a lot of fun and hopefully in the next year or two they’ll be able to be the leads in romantic comedies. However, Brie’s British accent is a tad distractingly bad but hearing her and Blunt fight as Elmo and Cookie Monster is a classic sister moment.
While The Five-Year Engagement isn’t a classic it is a cute date night movie with a lot of familiar faces.