The Five-Year Engagement: Jason Segel and Emily Blunt Can’t Commit

The Five-Year Engagement is as comfy and cute as the bunny costume Tom (Jason Segel, who co-scripted with director Nicholas Stoller) wears to the New Year’s Eve party where he meets Violet (Emily Blunt). The movie opens in San Francisco on their first anniversary, the night Tom proposes. They postpone the wedding so they can get settled at the University of Michigan, where Violet has been accepted to do post-doc research—an adjustment period that involves lame gags with snow and the lack of classy restos worthy of sous-chef Tom’s skills. While he makes Reubens at Zingerman’s deli, Violet thrives under the academic mentorship of Welsh charmer Winton (Rhys Ifans). When her post-doc is extended, Tom’s deepening misery at being stuck in the Wolverine State culminates in extracurricular drunken kisses, an amputated big toe, and the couple’s decision to call it quits—with about 45 minutes to fill before the preordained conclusion. Occasionally, the dialogue in Engagement might sound like something an adult audience member has once thought or uttered. “I wanna be alone with you here,” Tom pouts to Violet after a fight, and she gets out of bed to respect his request for momentary solitude. This fleeting acknowledgment of the come-here-go-away dynamic of most romantic relationships serves as the film’s most insightful look at attachment at any cost. The rest is much like the doughnuts Violet uses as a key prop in a research experiment: stale and not good for you.