Saturday, January 9, 2010

Leap Year

"What an amazing smell you've discovered!"

Unwilling to wait for her boyfriend to propose to her, a young woman decides to follow him to Dublin and propose to him instead on February 29th. But when her flight is forced down early, she'll recruit anyone willing to help her cross country- even the not so friendly inn keeper.

Leap Year is, in a word: uninspired. In two: wholly uninspired.
I'll try to keep this short, if only to spare the cast and crew, but where do I even begin? To say this is a paint by numbers rom-com is to insult the many amazing pictures you can paint using numbers. This movie is the screenplay equivalent of Frankenstein's monster, built completely from the pieces of bigger more successful movies and electrocuted into existence in a dank, disturbing laboratory.
While it makes an effort to seem endearingly quirky, the quirks themselves are even recognizable, as well as the set pieces. If not familiar from unrelated films, they're familiar familiar from this writing teams last attempt, the box-office flop Made of Honor. In case you've never heard of it, Made of Honor stars Patrick Dempsey as a professional bachelor who chases his friend to Ireland in hopes of marrying her. Hmmmmm...
Despite both playing their parts well, Amy Adams (as the prissy beauty) and Matthew Goode (as the jerk with a heart of gold) can't seem to strike a spark together. They bicker well, but beyond that don't cause much of a stir. It doesn't help that every situation they're put in feels as forced as the movies ending; many stories progress to an conclusion that makes sense, this one feels more like it's trying to justify the sugary ending they already had picked out.
Wholly uninspired; I don't know if there's a better pair of words for this movie. As romantic comedies go Leap Year offers nothing in the way of the former, and rare flashes of the latter. Genre gluttons will undoubtedly find something to love, but the pickings will be slim. Anyone else will be well suited to steer clear.

Reel Deal Recommends:
Doubt: Stellar performances all around, including Adams.
Watchmen: A strong adaptation featuring a beautiful performance from Goode.

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