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The film, which was co-written by Segel and director Nicholas Stoller, has received positive reviews overall, with many critics praising Engagement‘s ability to seem more “real” than many rom-coms.
However, other critics felt that the Judd Apatow-produced pic stretched out too long, with a running time of more than two hours.
“This latest collaboration for director Nicholas Stoller and co-screenwriter/star Jason Segel never hits the peaks of laughter Forgetting Sarah Marshall achieved but will please the team’s fans while — no penises here — appealing to a more conservative crowd as well,” writes The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore.
“The Five-Year Engagement winds up promoting a romantic ideal that, while still wrapped in Hollywood’s ribbons, feels a bit more like something viewers might see in their own lives,” adds DeFore.
“I liked The Five-Year Engagement, and then I didn’t, and then I did – which seems just about right for a movie dedicated to examining how even the purest affections can be fatally derailed,” writes Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post, who adds that the first 45 minutes “pop and zing with both comic fizz and refreshing authenticity.”
The Los Angeles Times’ Betsy Sharkey writes that the film was “a little sloppy.”
“There are so many detours taken by director Nicholas Stoller and co-writer Segel in trying to twist the typical rom-com tropes, they derail the movie as often as the wedding plans, shortchanging the smart, special comedy Engagement had the potential to be,” adds Sharkey.
Others enjoyed the loose take on format taken by Segel and Stoller. “I really like this film, loose flaps, protracted finale and all,” writes Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune. “As in last year’s Bridesmaids, an authentic, dimensional human element animates the jokes and the characters with whom we spend a couple of highly satisfying hours.”
“The Five-Year Engagement dutifully hits the marks of its genre, but it is also about the unpredictability of life and the everyday challenges of love,” writes The New York Times’ A.O. Scott. “The sensitivity and honesty with which it addresses those matters is a pleasant surprise.”
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