In the midst of the January releases comes another romantic comedy (released before When In Rome), which offers nothing special or different from most romantic comedies.
The premise of this one is simple. Beautiful, driven, perfectionist Anna Brady (Amy Adams) decides to fly from Boston to Dublin, Ireland in hopes to propose to her longtime boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) on February 29th. Apparently this is a tradition that is held in Ireland, and Anna decides to make the plunge. However, from the very moment she decides to leave for Ireland, she runs into one disaster to another. Hiring bar/hotel/chef owner Declan (Matthew Goode) to take her to Dublin, she continues to find difficulty in getting to her destination time. Along the way, she discovers a little something about herself and about Declan as well.
I love romantic comedies. I *almost* always enjoy them, regardless of how good they are. However, I do have my favorites, and if I’m able to watch the movie repeatedly afterwards, it usually indicates that I truly love the movie. Therefore, I cannot determine how much I love this movie (or When in Rome) until I get a chance to watch them repeatedly. The end verdict will come then.
Needless to say, I did enjoy this movie. It was cute, though predictable. However, I was bothered by how cliche it was. I must say I get tired of the “girl meets new guy behind boyfriend’s back” romantic comedies. Even if the boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t perfect, I don’t like the manner these movies go about breaking a couple up. Leap Year was about as cliche as most romantic movies go. There’s flying across the Atlantic. There’s the whole “we-don’t-get-along” together dynamic (which is usually always fun to watch) between the two leads. There’s the public declaration of love, of like, whatever you call it. The ending was a bit ridiculous too, in my opinion. So don’t go into the theatre expecting something fresh or new. You won’t find it.
The acting, as one would expect from Amy Adams and Matthew Goode (guys will recognize him as Ozymandias from Watchmen) is quite good. The roles don’t require much range, but Amy’s Anna is interesting and cute, despite her cluelessness and stubborness sometimes. And who could resist Matthew Goode? His Jeremy is incredibly likeable, since he is the laid back, down to earth guy, who’s trying to put up with a stuck up girl. I found it quite amusing that the Louis Vuitton bag was always referred to as “Louis”. Usually always a bit of chuckles from the audience were garnered from this mention. Also, the old Irish guys that visit Declan’s pub were always funny.
The short of it is, I liked the movie, though I didn’t love it. I enjoyed When In Rome more, because even though it was formulaic, it did not take itself seriously, it was more funny, and I found all the characters truly likeable. I did not enjoy the story of this one as much, even though I also liked the actors. If you’re a sucker for romantic comedies like me, I definitely recommend it. I would consider this movie more of a romance with bits of comedy (much like You’ve Got Mail, or Sleepless in Seattle, both of which I adore), whereas When In Rome was more comedy than romance. Note that most of the funny scenes are found in the Leap Year trailer.
If you don’t like romantic comedies, I would stay far away from this one. Otherwise, take a chance with this one. You’re likely to enjoy yourself. It * is * a light film, but don’t expect to laugh too much.
Recommended, with reservations. 2.5 bobs / 5 bobs