The Five-Year Engagement

Tom and Violet had the makings of a beautiful relationship. They met at a New Year’s Eve costume party in San Francisco, and exactly one year later, Tom popped the question on a rooftop building with the lit-up Bay Bridge in the background—only in the movies. While in the process of picking a wedding date, Violet gets a chance to study for a year with a noted professor of psychology at University of Michigan. Tom puts his career on hold to allow his future bride to further her education. Her initial study was only supposed to last one year but turns into a permanent position when the professor has ulterior motives. Can their relationship survive?

Judd Apatow is considered one of the hottest producers in Hollywood these days, but for some reason, I abhor virtually all of the movies that have his name attached to them. This is by far the least smutty of his films, but its 124-minute run time feels more like a five-year prison sentence than the typical 90-minute romantic comedy normally does. The main characters are likeable enough, especially Emily Blunt as Violet, but as their relationship deteriorates during the overly long second act, I’d forgotten what I liked about the couple. AVC encode is solid, with above-average detail, inconsistent color saturation, and some occasional softness. Low-light scenes are a tad noisy and lack truly revealing shadows, but given that it’s a romantic comedy, most of you won’t be using this as a demo showpiece to begin with. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack provides clear and concise dialogue. Dynamics are rarely tested, and the surround channels provide only the occasional ambience and are rarely noticed.

The supplement package contains both a theatrical and unrated cut of the film, an audio commentary, a smattering of making-of documentaries, deleted scenes, 19 extended/alternate scenes, a gag reel, and a few other throwaway featurettes. In addition, the Blu-ray set includes a DVD and a Digital Copy (both iTunes and UltraViolet) of the feature film.

There are some parts of this film that really work well, but unfortunately, they’re buried too deep in this sloppily edited and extremely long romantic comedy. The laughs are almost nonexistent, many of the scenes are contrived, and there are too many extraneous characters who don’t need to be there that grind the storytelling to a halt. If you see this in your local Redbox, skip it!

Studio: Universal, 2012
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio Format:
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Length: 124 mins.
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt