The next leap year, in real life of course, is arriving in 2012. But tomorrow Amy Adams and Matthew Goode will pop on movie theater screens all over the country starring in the latest romantic comedy "Leap Year." It took a real leap of faith to sit through this movie and not be completely moved to indignation. Maybe that’s what they had in mind when they named it, and the fact that the 97 minutes felt more like a year. Yes there was some cute humor, and plenty of Irish jokes to go around, but the plot was most definitely not strong enough to make this a must see. The only salvation were the countless breathtaking aerial shots of Ireland, and dishy Goode’s enchanting accent.
It’s a romantic comedy, a genre of which I happen to big a fan of (don’t judge me) but it just didn’t move me. Written by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont and directed by Anand Tucker, the plot line is incredibly simple. Anna, Miss Adams, and Jeremy (Adam Scott) have been dating for four years and are the perfect Boston couple. They are sophisticatedly dressed at all times, he is a cardiologist and she is an apartment stager, setting up spaces for real estate agents to help them move properties, and they frequent the fanciest restaurants and have fabulous friends. And they have a total of zero chemistry. They never kiss on the mouth, their hugs are stiff and awkward and they discuss their life together as a business deal rather than a relationship.
Starring:Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott
On the eve of Jeremy’s departure for a cardiology conference in Dublin, he takes Anna to a "special" dinner after they meet with the board of the exclusive (and semi-fictional) Davenport Apartment complex. She is expecting a proposal, but what she receives are beautiful diamond earrings. Which she of course is dissatisfied with, since having someone to love and a lucrative job and a seemingly fabulous lifestyle all around aren’t enough for Anna the perfectionist. She remembers what her father, played by John Lithgow, has just said that same day about an old Irish tradition, how on February 29 women propose to men in Ireland. Anna frantically decides to surprise Jeremy in Dublin and pop the old question a la her Grandma Jan which her father alleges is the way she got married.
So Anna embarks on a journey which proves to be a testament to not only her determination and perseverance to do anything to get married, but also her complete and utter incompetence as an independent woman. She takes a plane, a car, a bus, attempts a train ride and walks significant distances in 5-inch ankle strap camel Mary Jane’s. The shenanigans are endless — what with Irish hooligans playing on her doe-eyed optimism and trust as they steal her Louis Vuitton suitcase, and her idiocy in attempting to plug in her Blackberry charger into a European outlet. It’s as if feminism never even happened. She was completely helpless in almost every way and it was truly distracting for me. I felt exasperated for her as I predicted each mishap before it even happened. The only thing I liked during her travels was Goode’s feisty Irish character Declan who agrees to accompany Anna on her journey since he is overdue on rent for his bar the rustic Caragh in Dingle, Ireland literally washes up. He adds humor and a lightness that her performance is lacking and is laughter is infectious. He’s adorable and I mean really, who can resist an Irish accent (I certainly can’t).
As leap day approaches, uptight Anna becomes more and more frustrated as times seems to be flying by and they are barely making it from Southwest Ireland to Dublin. Along the way, Declan slowly grows on her and they find a middle-ground of getting along that is closely similar to friendship. That of course quickly metamorphose into an ill-timed romantic interest sparked when they accidentally crash a wedding in the most scenic spot I’ve ever laid eyes on overlooking a huge valley and lake.
Declan finally gets Anna to Dublin, but the real question is will she or won’t she propose, or are we in for a twist? I guess you’ll have to check it out to find out. On a happy note "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s" Kaitlin Olson added a very minor but brief bit of fresh air with her ridiculous facial expressions and dry humor. It’s just too bad her role as Boston best friend to Anna was so small.
Leap Year is a pretty reasonable date movie for those of you still dating as Valentine’s Day, that abysmal candy-company created holiday, approaches. But it’s up to you, take a leap of faith. Or don’t.