| April 27, 2012

This isn't your typical movie review column. My ratings system is simple: Is it worthy of a date night out at the movies? Blu-ray? Or is it just a bust?

Every once in a while, a film comes around where the first scene makes you laugh … and then the next scene … the next after that … and, well, you get it. Judd Apatow has churned out several hits in this category, like “Knocked Up” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and he's done it again! "The Five-Year Engagement" is a candid look at love struggling to make it in our modern, career-driven world.

San Francisco provides the backdrop for sous-chef Tom Solomon (Jason Segel), who combines a splash of charm and a dash of good humor to win the hand of the beautiful Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt). All is well until Violet is offered her dream job in Michigan. Tom decides to follow her there, but things don’t go so well for him. While Violet skyrockets to success in her career, Tom struggles to find suitable work and eventually freefalls to some hilarious lows.

One scene involves a disagreement between the couple that brilliantly highlights the way men and women can see the same subject entirely differently. In that spirit, I've decided to breakdown the reasons that both sexes should set their sights on this romantic comedy.

Okay guys, here's the deal: It's funnier than the trailer looks! Jason Segel is on par with his past comedic performances, so if you like him, you should be happy here. You've got good raunchy jokes, some funny physical humor, and Alex (Chris Pratt) as Tom’s hilarious sidekick, playing the classic comic relief character to a T. Emily Blunt is easy on the eyes and music to our ears with her adorable English accent.

So picture this, ladies: a supportive man completely willing to put his career on hold to encourage you and your dream. Yeah, thought you might like that. Well, the lovable hero Tom does just that … and more than once! Stay tuned for the film's finale, it certainly won't disappoint on the "romance meter."

The wrap-up:
The runtime feels 20 minutes longer than needed, but it mostly paces well with several laugh-out-loud scenes sprinkled in just when they’re needed. And what an ensemble cast! They're all spot on, but Chris Pratt and Alison Brie particularly shine, and are given many of the better jokes. Could we see a spinoff featuring their love story? I'd watch it!

The Date Nighter says:
If you're looking for fun, laughs and a warm and fuzzy feeling with your special someone, then do it!