Dave White
Leap Year Review

Dave's Rating:


Calling the Irish Anti-Defamation League...

Who's In It: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott

The Basics: Monomaniacally matrimony-minded Amy Adams (her doctor boyfriend is kind of a lump in the getting-around-to-getting-married department) runs around breathlessly reporting to any unfortunate person who'll listen to her the exciting news that "THERE'S THIS TRADITION IN IRELAND WHERE LADIES CAN PROPOSE MARRIAGE TO MEN AND THEY'LL SAY YES AND ISN'T THAT JUST ABOUT THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU EVER HEARD IN YOUR LIFE?!" When actual Irish person Matthew Goode tells her that it's a ridiculous idea, my first thought, was, "Yes, I agree. Let's not have a movie about it." But then the movie happened anyway and then I settled for hoping that Pogues frontman and former dental nightmare Shane MacGowan would show up with his new teeth and start biting everyone to death.

What's The Deal: When was the last time a romantic comedy contained characters and situations that resembled the way people really behave? I need some help remembering and I need that help quickly. Because I feel like my mind is being erased thanks a concerted effort on the part of mainstream filmmakers who want us all to recalibrate our standards of decency. Like this one, for example, seems less horrible than the others simply because the main female character isn't humiliated and degraded (see stats below) and stupidly obsessed with her wedding at the expense of all other thought quite as much as the women in films like, say, 27 Dresses or Bride Wars. And when those are your new Bottom of the Barrel, when everyone else gets a pass for not being as miserable as what's come before, then that's when the world aims itself for the Sun and braces for final impact.

Who Keeps It From Jumping Off A Cliff Of Total Despair: In spite of it mostly sucking, this film failed to inspire the same sort of rage and hate that the blisteringly evil romantic comedies of Katherine Heigl manage to create in me, and that's due to the relentless cuteness of Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. They take what should simply be a wallow-in-unfunny situation, insulting twinkly-eyed and tweed-festooned Irish stereotypes (which it thinks it can avoid being taken to task for by making its own jokes about Lucky Charms cereal), and all-out romantic stupidity and almost pull off their bickering-turns-to-love arc. If, for some reason, you wind up moping on a couch some weekend and it's on cable, these two might convince you not to change the channel or throw your remote at the screen.

Shame Stats Endured By Adams: Three instances of being soaked by sudden rainstorms, two examples of thoughtless public humiliation by uncaring fiance, one room collapsing on top of her, one face-down-in-the-mud moment and several shoe mishaps including stepping in feces and being forced to trudge up hills in stupidly high heels as though that's just what ladies who aren't Sarah Jessica Parker always do anyway.

What You'd Really Like Instead: The plot bears a passing resemblance to a great old 1947 movie called I Know Where I'm Going! from directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Except in that movie, in spite of it being made 60 years ago, the female protagonist doesn't have to get her ass handed to her in order to find love at the end.


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