Mar 14, 2011

[Movies] Leap Year (2010)

Leap Year (2010)A number of my recent movie reviews clearly demonstrate my liking for British actor Matthew Goode. I totally loved him in Imagine Me & You and since then I feel like I've been looking for another movie that utilizes his unique charm and acting skills well. Instead I've gotten a number of weird portrayals that have Goode in roles that remain not as well written as his character Heck in that first movie.

On a similar note, I totally loved Amy Adams when I first recognizably encountered her in Enchanted, although she had a number of other movie and TV appearances before that. Lucky for her, Julie & Julia was another excellent movie for her that featured her unique charms and grace to the hilt.

Thus finding out that the two had a romantic comedy together, I have to admit that I've been curious about it for some time now. Thus it took my recent Matthew Goode movie hunt to get me to finally watch it...with very disappointing results.

Leap Year is a 2010 romantic comedy directed by Anand Tucker, whose film credits include the 2005 adaptation of Shopgirl.

After waiting for her boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) to propose to her, Anna Brady (Amy Adams) decides to take advantage of an old Irish tradition that if a woman proposes to a man on January 29, he must accept it. Thus she goes to rather elaborate lengths to arrange a trip to Ireland while her husband is in-country for a conference. But things don't go as planned and planned weather has her flight getting redirected to Cardiff. She tries to continue her journey by hiring a boat to Cork but she gets waylaid once more to the Dingle Peninsula instead. Finally, she tries to get help from the small town inn to get a ride to Dublin and eventually the surly innkeeper Declan (Matthew Goode) agrees to drive her there without any real logical reason apart from needing money to keep the inn going.

The pair immediately don't get along well with one another and thus you get the expected awkward road trip. And things get worse when a ridiculous accident causes Anna to accidentally push Declan's car down a hill and into a pond, thus forcing the two to find another way to get to Dublin together. But as the journey continues, Declan and Anna begin to warm up to one another and start to feel for one another more deeply.

The movie was pretty bad, and I'm not just saying that since I'm not a big fan of romantic comedies go. Even as a romantic comedy, it was pretty bad and it suffered from a number of problems that made the movie hard to appreciate.

First, it had a really bad plot. The story was full of rom-com movie tropes and had very little substance. Just look at the premise - the girl taking the lead since she wants to get married, being thrust into close confines with a foreign stranger, the initial relationship of hate that eventually turns to growing attraction and the need to pretend to be a couple as part of their travels are all part and parcel of the romantic comedy world. but putting all these pieces together resulted in a awkward end result that felt strange and sometimes hollow.

Amy AdamsCover of Amy AdamsThen there's the writing, which was bad not just in terms of plot but more so in terms of characters. I mean seriously, you get two pretty skilled actors with a decent enough following and you end up mangling the movie with horrible dialog, bag jokes and Irish stereotypes? Anna was a hodge podge of go-getter career girl and somewhat sweet idealistic romantic while Declan was a weird brooding man who lacked the kind of wit and charm that Goode handles so well. Thus it was clear that Amy was trying to act in line with a certain character mindset, thus dampening her usual kind of infectious exuberance and energy that we've seen in past movies. You have to be a pretty bad writer to end up with something like this despite having good actors to work with.

In the end, the movie was a sad addition to both of their resumes and Goode himself admitted in an interview that he felt it could be ranked as one of the worst movies of 2010. A shame that both of them got involved and a bigger shame on the people behind the project for doing such a horrible job with the movie.

Leap Year was a struggle to get through a it took me a near miracle to finish. It gets 1 horrible banter routine between the two older Irish gentlemen out of a possible 5.

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