I liked the fact that The Five-Year Engagement is not your typical rom-com. In this film, boy already knows girl and they get engaged at the beginning. Whew, it's all set, thank goodness! But that would make for a very short movie, wouldn't it? What unfolds is that Violet, played by Emily Blunt, and Tom, played by Jason Segal (who also co-wrote the screenplay), start to make wedding plans but life gets in the way. Career and school get sidetracked and a major life shift is necessary. And then, as often happens in situations where one partner puts aside his or her goals so the other can achieve theirs, Tom becomes discontented. Love may be strong, commitment may be important, but sometimes they aren't enough. I don't think this is an unfamiliar theme for many viewers though some find the scenario playing out after they're already married. Yet the fact that Violet and Tom haven't tied the knot, haven't made the ultimate commitment, doesn't seem to make it any easier to consider that perhaps parting is the only solution, especially when Tom gets drunkenly mixed up with a floozy, and someone else begins to look appealing to Violet. They're both a little odd-looking, a little clumsy, which makes them perfect for each other.

I enjoyed Blunt and Segal in these roles. I like that she's not quite beautiful, and he's not quite handsome. They're both a little odd-looking, a little clumsy, which makes them perfect for each other. But more than anything, I liked the ending, which I'll try not to give away. Though I had a feeling it would be a happy one (and I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say so), the way it happened surprised me. Tom and Violet find their way back to each other because the alternative, being apart, is not a possibility - they're meant for each other.
I found myself particularly enchanted by the grand gesture Tom makes at the finale, with the help of the couple's friends and family. Tom shows Violet he's willing to do anything for her, and if you've ever had anyone fight for you, you know how good that feels. It's a grand gesture that says, "I love you more than anything, and I'll show you in a way that is special, and perfect for us, and not some Hollywood idea of romance," that is what women really want. Yes, you expect that happy ending, but it's better than you think it's going to be. Not the greatest movie ever made, but The Five-Year Engagement is funny and satisfying. Well worth a night with your sweetie on the couch.

Movie reviewed by Georgina Young-Ellis

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