Saturday 27 November 2021

Movie Review: Leap Year (2010)

A numbingly predictable romantic comedy, Leap Year layers cultural stereotypes and travelogue blandness onto a meager premise.

In Boston, real estate stager Anna (Amy Adams) is disappointed when her boyfriend of four years Jeremy (Adam Scott), a cardiologist, fails to propose marriage and heads to a conference in Dublin. Her father Jack (John Lithgow) tells a tall tale about a tradition of Irish women proposing to their men on February 29. She decides to chase after Jeremy and pop the question.

Severe weather interferes and Anna finds herself stranded in the tiny coastal community of Dingle. The local bar owner/taxi driver Declan (Matthew Goode) needs the money and offers to drive her to Dublin for €500. They immediately clash, her desire to control everything rubbing against his laid-back attitude. But with nothing going well on the long trip, sparks of romance eventually emerge.

Written by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan with a conspicuous absence of wit and creativity, Leap Year washes up on the Irish coast like rotten seaweed. Director Anand Tucker mistakes caricature representations for cultural references, and reduces the country to old men debating superstitions and muddy country roads blocked by cows. Some of the scenery is good, but far from sufficient to distract from the overriding sense ineptness.

Into this dross a ridiculous attempt at a romance is inserted, Anna and Declan actually bickering throughout the whole movie, their incessant quarrelling only turning to manufactured affection in the final 15 minutes when the happy ending demands attention. Along the way they endure car trouble, a night at a bed and breakfast where married couples are unwelcome, and uncooperative train schedules. For good measure they gate crash a wedding and proceed to wreck the bride with flying shoes and spilled wine.

Some moments of humour do survive, and Amy Adams heroically battles against an unappealing character and all the contrived surroundings. She is the only thing worth watching, as this Leap Year is one day too long and otherwise woefully short.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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