READER REPORT:

A movie marriage proposal

JOHN PETTERSON
Last updated 05:00 31/03/2013
i give it a year
 

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I had decided to propose to my partner at the Roxy Theatre, but I had to have a ruse to get her there. That ruse was this movie.

I had to bring her to the Roxy theatre between 11:00 and 12:00. I had it all planned out with friends and family, and the lovely people at the Roxy were all on board.

But like any good plan there were several hitches. One of them was the movie we were to see. Originally the plan was to see Hitchcock, but that wasn't showing at the right time. After that discovery what followed was an awkward debate over my insistence that we should still go to the Roxy and see I give it a year, and not go to the light house to see Hitchcock, a film we both would rather see.

But after much cajoling, and a great deal of subterfuge, it was settled that we would go to the Roxy. And after I proposed to her, we thought we may as well see the movie while we were there.

As you will see it was an interesting choice for us.

Synopsis: Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) have gotten married after a whirlwind six month romance. Josh is a young novelist struggling with his second book, and Nat is a something flash in the city. But no one thinks, not their friends, or their family, that their marriage will last a year.

As with any relationship the reality of day to day life starts to sink in when the honeymoon is literally over. As Josh and Rose return to their normal lives they start to realise that they are two very different people, and they begin to wonder if they even like each other, let alone love each other.

Things get more complicated when Nat has to work with a rich new client, Guy (Simon Baker). Nat is encouraged to flirt with him to help win his account for her firm. But the more she flirts with Guy the more she becomes attracted to him. And the feeling is obviously mutual.

Meanwhile back in the writers cave, Josh has reconnected with his ex, Chloe (Anna Faris), after she returns from peace keeping in Africa. It turns out that they never technically broke up, and there is still strong chemistry between them.

Ensue romantic hi-jinks!

The film is pretty much standard fare as far as British romantic comedies go; quirky, entertaining, but I Give it a Year had few surprises with the plot. It is not as good as Death at a Funeral, but better than Mr. Bean the movie.

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There are a few good laughs, especially the marriage counselling scenes, but this is more of a romance than a comedy movie for me. The film is advertised as from the producers of Love Actually, which says quite a lot about this film to me really, not the writers, or directors, but the money behind those films.

The story tried to be a little unconventional, and while I would say it succeeded, I wasn't overly impressed. But I can't say more than that without giving spoilers away.

The cast perform well, Stephen Merchant and Simon Baker played familiar roles as the awkward friend, and the dashing love interest respectively. Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall are good as the struggling young couple; both sympathetic and familiar as 'that couple' other couples refer to. I am finding that Rafe Spall is quickly becoming an actor that I admire, he has certainly come a long way from the annoying shop boy in Sean of the Dead. But for me the stand out performances were from Jason Flemyng and Minnie Driver. As the dysfunctional older couple that openly loathes each other, they stole every scene they were in.

Dan Mazer, the writer and director of I give it a year, previous works include Borat, Bruno, and Ali G Indahouse, this appears to be his first outing into more mainstream movies and while it is technically fine, I came away feeling a little lacking.

It wasn't bad, it wasn't great, and the best bits may have been in the trailer. This is not a film that I have too much to discuss really. Just summer popcorn faire. It is not a Richard Curtis film, but if you like those sorts of movies you will probably enjoy this.

Five romantic monkeys out of ten from me.

P.S. She said yes by the way. But as movies to post proposal go, if I had had the choice I should have stuck with Hitchcock, rather than a movie about a couple that seem to fall out of love after they get married.


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