If you ask an old married couple how they managed to stay together for such a long time they will probably tell you that it takes a lot of effort and a lot of compromise. But the tricky question is how much compromise is needed in order to make your relationship work without losing yourself in the process.
Initially I thought that The Five-Year Engagement would follow the same formula seen in almost every run-of-the-mill comedy/romance movie ever made, and for the most part, it did — but there were parts in it that were so real and so honest that I was taken by surprise. It’s the story of a couple that decide to get married after a year of dating. Tom, played by Jason Segel and Violet, played by Emily Blunt are truly and deeply in love. Tom works as a sous chef in a good restaurant, he likes his job and he’s really good at it. Violet has an academic career that she wants to pursue, so when the opportunity comes to get her post doc in psychology, the first big question arises. At that time, an answer seems to be easy, so they postpone the wedding and Tom decides to give everything up, follow his fiancé and move to Michigan from San Francisco.
In Michigan, things don’t go so well. While Violet follows her dream and feels that her career is on the right track, Tom feels like he’s moving backwards. He can’t find a job that suits his skills and he can’t fit in Violet’s scientific circle. Sure there is still love, but it seems that there is no sparkle anymore. Tom is trapped in a miserable life that he hates – but he is willing to compromise in order to be with the woman he loves. As everyone would suspect depression kicks in, argues and fights.
While I was watching the movie I realised that the screenwriters, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, wrote a script that at times made me feel bored – and that’s because it was so realistic. It was like watching my story or my friend’s story; it was so much to the point that it didn’t seem fictional anymore. Even though it boasted some surreal scenes and some really funny ones, the bottom line is that movie reflects what almost every couple has to deal with — careers, dreams, jobs, family and most likely, suppressed feelings. It’s not easy to make compromises and it’s not easy because you have to come up with the right solution so not to sacrifice more than you are really willing to and end up resenting yourself.
The movie was directed by Nicholas Stoller in a way that both actors seemed natural and real. The Five-Year Old Engagement is a film that will make you laugh and enjoy, it will try to praise true-love but in the end, it will make you realize how much it takes to make a long lasting relationship… and overanalysing things definitely won’t help.