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Dear Five Year Engagement: I'm Sorry, But It's Just Not Going to Work Out Between Us

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | April 27, 2012 | Comments ()


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Dear Five Year Engagement --

I see a lot of romantic comedies. Actually, I see them all. Some people have Daddy issues; I have Cameron Crowe issues. No matter how many times I get burned, no matter how many terrible fucking romantic comedies I suffer through, I continue to go back. It's an abusive relationship, really, but every great once in a while, these romantic comedies are good to me. They treat me right. They respect me. They treat me like a person instead of an admission ticket they can rip up and throw away.

You gave me a couple of good hours, Five Year Engagement. It's not exactly what I'm looking for in a romantic comedy, but we had a good time, a few laughs, and shared a few genuine moments together, didn't we? That's more than I can say for 95 percent of the romantic comedies that I see, and I'll always be grateful for the time we spent together, for being treated like a person instead of a number, and for not being talked down to.

Unfortunately, Five Year Engagement, you're just not my type: Your dating profile promised me a lot of laughs and some slapstick adventure, but you hid the fact that you were kind of a downbeat film and a little flabby around the belly. To be honest, you had a hard time getting to the point. I'm a busy man, and while I appreciate a lot of wining, dining, and romance, I'm not interested in waiting around forever to seal the deal. Moreover, while I appreciate that you loved me for my mind, I could've used a little more passion, a few ass pinches, and some kinky love-making.

In a way, Five Year Engagement, you remind me of a movie I dated a few years ago called The Break-Up. That movie's trailer profile promised me hilarity, fast-talking charm, and passion, but when it came to our relationship, The Break-Up was a serious downer. We didn't have any fun at all; it was just one fight after another. But what I appreciated about The Break-Up was that a few of those fights felt real, you know? They weren't good times, but at least they were genuine.

Five Year Engagement, you are kind of like that, although don't get me wrong: You were a lot better. I mean, the laughs were few and far between, but when they came, they were huge, rollicking boisterous laughs, and that's because they actually came from a place that was real, you know? We felt a connection. It was probably the part about giving up the place you love to move out into the middle of bumfuck nowhere to support your partner's dreams that connected with me the most. I've been there. And while I didn't grow mutton chops and hunt deer, like Jason Segal did in your movie, I felt similarly restless and melancholy.

But I'll tell you this: That Jason Segel, he's a great guy. He's charming and sweet, and we got along really well. You're lucky to have him. Emily Blunt is not so bad, either. She's a little uptight, but she's kind, and very pretty. But who I really liked was Emily Blunt's sister, played by Alison Brie, and her relationship with Jason Segel's best friend, played by Chris Pratt. They had a really fun marriage, and I wish we'd gotten to hang out more. They were goofy and one dimensional, but there was a lot of passion in their relationship. I'm really going to miss them.

But in the end, you know the speech: It's not you, it's me. Well, actually, it's you, too. You brought a lot of the tone and sweetness from my last romantic encounter with you guys, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but you didn't bring very much humor along with you. Let's be honest: There was a full 45 minutes in the middle of our relationship that just didn't work. At all. But I loved the big romantic gesture in the end; that was something I haven't seen before, and I appreciate the hell out of that. But ultimately, it was too little, too late.

I'll give you this much, though: It was better than most romantic-comedy relationships I've had. By a mile. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out; there just wasn't enough chemistry there to sustain the two-hour length of the relationship. Seriously, though: Thanks for the memories, and I'll always cherish the great Van Morrison mix-tape you left me. I hope we can still be friends!

Very best,

Dustin Rowles




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