Five Year Engagement


Film (with rating): The Five Year Engagement (R)

 

Studio:
Universal Studios Home Entertainment

 

Summary: When
Tom (Jason Segal) and Violet (Emily Blunt) get engaged, life looks perfect. But
when one delay follows another, everyone begins to wonder if this wedding will
ever really happen.

 

Review: I
love Jason Segal. He’s this big, oafy, sarcastic teddy bear. Sure, he may be
slightly typecast in his cinematic roles, but it works. And Emily Blunt is a
spot-on rom-com goddess, with an accent I wish I had. With this movie’s
hard-hitting star power (not even mentioning the supporting cast of Chris
Pratt, Alison Brie and Rhys Ifans), I hoped for a “Forgetting Sarah
Marshall”-type hit. Maybe even something with a flair of
“Bridesmaids.” After all, we’ve got Judd Apatow from
“Bridesmaids” in the producer role, and “Nicholas Stoller from
“Sarah Marshall” in the director’s chair. Chances were good. Well,
“Five Year” isn’t like either of those hits, but it’s not totally off
the mark, either. There are scores of memorable moments (crossbow, anyone?)
that keep the movie above the line. But I was hoping for more. It’s a bit
predictable in terms of plot, and Segal and Blunt don’t really have the kind of
chemistry a movie like this needs. I almost feel sorry for the folks of
Michigan, since Stoller made the “locals” look like a bunch of
deer-hunting, backwoods hicks. Overall, “Five Year” stumbles and
sometimes feels too disjointed, but in the end, it is worth watching.
  It does deal
with a lot of the issues many of us face. Such as, what do we prioritize?

At the
very least, Blunt’s accent is just too cool, and seeing “How I Met Your
Mother’s” Segal in mutton chops is classic.

 

Extra highlight:
Gag reel.

 

What to serve for dinner: I’m sorry, Bambi. Venison stew (from Emeril Lagasse
on www.foodnetwork.com).

  • 3 tablespoons olive
    oil
  • 2 pounds venison stew meat
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes,
    peeled and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
    basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
    thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups brown
    stock
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Crusty bread

In a large pot over high
heat, add the olive oil. In a mixing bowl, toss the venison
with flour and Essence. When the oil is hot, sear the meat for 2 to 3 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add the onions and
saute for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper.
Saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, basil, thyme, and bay leaves
to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the
pan with the red wine. Add the brown stock. Bring the liquid up to a boil, cover
and reduce to a simmer.
Simmer the stew for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat is very tender. If
the liquid evaporates too much add a little more stock. Remove the stew from the
oven and serve in shallow bowls with crusty bread.

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):

    2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

    2 tablespoons salt

    2 tablespoons garlic powder

    1 tablespoon black pepper

    1 tablespoon onion powder

    1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

    1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

    1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store
in an airtight jar or container. Yield: about 2/3 cup.

 

What to talk about over dinner: How long were you engaged? Too long, too short,
just right? How long would you have waited to get married if life got in the
way? How long is too long? Is this movie a commentary about how today’s young
adults would rather live together than get married? Was Violet too selfish? Was
Tom directionless? What was up with the fur-covered steins? Why does everything
said with a British accent sound so charming? What do you think will happen in
the next season of “How I Met Your Mother?” Who would have been
better as the two lead characters in “Five Year?”