I loved The Five-Year Engagement.
I thought there was a pretty good chance I would like it. I’m already a huge fan of Jason Segel’s writing and co-writing (with friend, Nick Stoller), with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Muppets. The cast is great, with stars Emily Blunt and Segel himself backed up by hilarious folks like Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, Rhys Ifans, and Brian Posehn.
For some reason, I didn’t expect to be moved by the film’s sweetness the way I was. In hindsight that doesn’t make any sense, because as Emily pointed out when we were walking out of the theater, Segel is great at writing a smart, insightful core inside raunchy silliness. His insight into human foibles and relationships was on display again in The Five-Year Engagement. I’m actually really impressed that he nailed long relationships so well, being that he isn’t married himself.
This was the anti-rom-com. It’s not about finding the perfect person and living happily ever after, it’s about finding a person you love and deciding you’re going to make it work through all the bull-shit and imperfections of life.
The only part of my life that consistently makes sense is my marriage. It’s not perfect, Emily and I aren’t perfect for each other, and we let each other down all the time. Yet, we also decided that we are going to make this work, and neither of us has any desire to imagine what life would be like apart. We’re in this together, and while people try to make marriage mean so many things in this world, especially conservatives, it’s not really all that complicated. Our marriage just means choosing to love each other every day, to support each other every day, to forgive each other every day, and to look out for each other before everyone else, including ourselves. I want to do everything I can to help Emily be everything she can be, and she damned sure does the same thing for me. It’s a very good thing, and the only decision in my life I’m sure was a good idea.
This movie resonated with us in so many ways. So many of the details are way off, but the core emotional values the movie arrives at are pretty much where we’ve arrived ourselves.
Also, as a bonus, the movie is pushed forward by the music of Van Morrison, with many Morrison songs, including several covers. Good job on the musical choices, boys!
Oh yeah, and there is an argument between two characters in the film that takes place in the characters of Elmo and the Cookie Monster.
Good times. We laughed, we smiled at the sweetness, Emily poked at key moments of similarity to us. It gets the official Scott Small seal of approval.