Leap Year: Amy Adams Deserves Better

According to supposed Irish custom, women may propose to their reluctant fiancés on February 29. The woman here is Anna (Anna Adams), a Boston apartment-stager, and her intended fiancé (Adam Scott) is a surgeon more in love with his BlackBerry than her. But after four years, he hasn’t pulled the Tiffany trigger. What’s a girl to do? He’s flown to a medical conference in Dublin, which neatly coincides with leap day, so Anna follows—intending to ambush him on the fated date. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned. Leap Year belongs to the Prada-backlash subgenre of women’s pictures—epitomized by The Proposal—in which smart, stylish women must be muddied, abased, ridiculed, and degraded to get their man. Only the new man is waggish innkeeper Declan (Matthew Goode), who agrees to drive stranded Anna to Dublin. She’s uptight and hyper-organized; he’s a grinning oaf who chews with his mouth open. See where this is going? You can write Leap Year‘s opposites-attract itinerary yourself. Goode and Adams are both appealing, but it’s as if they’re stuck in a Richard Curtis movie not actually written by Richard Curtis. (The honors go to Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, the team behind Made of Honor; Anand Tucker of Shopgirl directs.) The movie seems a rehash of 1930s conventions—It Happened One Night in Ireland. (Oh, no! There’s only one bed left at the B&B!) Free of sex or naughty language, Leap Year appears to have been designed for that huge mother/daughter matinee market, ahem. Take mom to It’s Complicated instead.