Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Movie Mini Review: Leap Year

Title: Leap Year

Cast: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode

Plot Summary: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl hate each other. Boy and girl go on epic journey full of contrived events. Boy and girl fall in love and live happily ever after. I blow my brains out.

My Thoughts: Let's face it. This is a chick flick. With no apologies and no pretensions to be anything more or less. As an unabashed chick flick, this movie automatically get's my "unscoreable" score. However, because it was honest, and for a couple of other reasons, I will say that this is one of the very few watchable chick flicks I've had to sit through.

So let me fill you in on what you won't miss. We are introduced the female lead, Anna Brady, while she's working at her job as a real estate stager (ooookay?) dressing up condos/houses so they will sell faster. Her girlfriend drops a hint one day that Anna's boyfriend was spotted carrying a little red box out of a high-class jewelry story and that a proposal was imminent.

Of course, the dude doesn't want to get married (the box contains a crummy pair of 40-carat diamond stud earrings). They're two modern, urbane, sophisticated adults who don't have to truck with such trivialities as marriage. Then Anna's dad tells her about this Irish tradition that states women can ask a man to marry her on Leap Day and he has to say yes.

So much for being modern and sophisticated. Anna, bitten by the romantic bug, hatches a plan to surprise her beau at a conference in Dublin. But fate conspires against her. On her way to Ireland, she's stranded in Wales during a storm. She insists on hiring the SS Minnow to sail her across the Irish Sea to Dublin. The boat is blown off course (of course), and lands in Dingle on the southwest end of Ireland. This makes no sense when you look at the geographical relationships between Cardiff, Dublin and Dingle. But this is a chick flick, so there you go.

Anyway, in Dingle she meets the male lead and proprietor of the local pub, Declan, who immediately hates her because she is entitled and annoying. But again, this is a chick flick, and as fate would have it, he needs a load of cash to stave off creditors. So he offers to drive Anna to Dublin for the low, low price of €500 (I think that's, like, $1,500).

The next hour or so is comprised of the couple's misadventures as they travel by jalopy, foot, train and buss to Dublin.You learn about the tragic romantic history of hunky Declan while the two are placed into painfully contrived situations forcing them to fall in love.

There are all kinds of plot holes and time line inconsistencies to complain about (uh, it's like two years until the next leap year), but only if you're paying attention. But the biggest offenses are the extremely cliche situations foisted upon the audience. The car breaking down, only one room at the inn that the two have to share, missing the train, accidentally stumbling into a wedding. PUHLEEEZE!!!

The writers (if there were any writers) pulled out every overused chestnut in the "Romantic Comedies for Dummies." Really, you could pretty much outline the entire movie after the first 10 (5 probably?) minutes. You knew who was going to get the girl and why, blah, blah, blah.

But, as I said, this particular chick flick ranks as one of the more watchable for one important reason: The locations.

For all that the movie lacks in plot and originality, it makes up (somewhat) in beautiful, breathtaking even, wide shots of the Irish countryside and the Dingle Peninsula. In fact, I found myself thinking more about the logistics involved in shooting some of the scenery than the actual story (which, let's face it, doesn't require a lot of cognitive bandwidth).

Final Rating: Zero out of five stars (But three out of 5 on the chick flick scale).

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1 comment:

  1. Well, I wasn't going to see it anyway, but thanks for the confirmation lest someone suggest it in the future.

    I'm waiting for the Wayans brothers to do a full-blown chick flick parody and call it something like "Dirty Dancing in My Best Friend's Travelling Pants Wedding and a Funeral in Seattle".


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