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Leap Year

No Award
2010

‘…rarely has a film strived for laughs to so little effect…’

Just in case there was a perception that this critic had gone soft after my Valentine’s Day smootch-up with Pretty Woman, here’s the other side of the coin presented as a hate-watch. Two great personable stars, lovely Irish scenery, an unofficial make-over of a rom-com classic I Know Where I’m Going! How could Leap Year fail to be anything but a head-spinningly wonderful warm and fuzzy experience? It’s a lot harder to make a good rom-com than it looks, partly because the naturalness is so hard won; Anand Tucker’s film is so painfully contrived that it drains the spirit and disturbs the soul; rarely has a film strived for laughs to so little effect.

If you’ve seen I Know Where I’m Going!, you’ve seen this, but a hundred times better. That film was about a headstrong young woman in transit, desperate to get married, who gets waylaid by the inclement weather, uncertain ferry conditions, and a lovable Celtic rogue who turns out to be the man of her dreams, while the no-longer-required and now outdated model gathers moss at their destination point. Update that story, throw in the wonderful Amy Adams and strike sparks with the charming Matthew Goode, and you’ve got a winner, right? Nope, you’ve got a sparking turd of a movie, insulting to the audience, the Irish community, and anyone hoping to see a decent story.

‘What are you, a leprechaun?’ is one of the choicer lines here; Anna (Adams) heads to Ireland to establish a base for a leap year proposal to her beau (Adam Scott), but ends up getting a lift across Ireland with smoothie Declan (Goode) in his beat-up little car. But when the road is blocked by sheep, the couple get out and the car rolls down the hill and into a river! Such obstacles multiply. Anna is quarry to the gangs of men who drive around the Irish countryside preying on vulnerable woman, while trains, buses and transport only leave once in a blue moon, and the locals are scam-artists and religious bigots. How this version of Ireland would charm anyone, never mind Anna, isn’t explained, and her decision to take up with Declan makes no sense in that 1) they lie to each other constantly 2) they live in different continents and 3) they hate everything about each other’s actual lives.

From the writer ‘s mind behind The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Josie and the Pussycats, Surviving Christmas and Made of Honour, this is the fifth atrocity in a row and surely grounds for retirement; I won’t name the guilty party. But taking on of the great Celtic love-stories and ruining it which cheap jibes about leprechauns is a mortal sin, and Leap Year leans into that sense of wrongness. Goode looks embarrassed, Adams is shrill, the film sucks, and you, well, you’re better than this; look elsewhere for your entertainment and have a little self-respect. And no, it’s not a leap year this year, so no reason to look at this at all.

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    • Yup, I’m a fan of Amy Adams, from American Hustle to Arrival, she’s usually on message. Not here…

        • I’ll have all copies of the movie destroyed, in that case. I’ll get an apology from everyone involved for wasting your precious time.

            • I will travel from town to town like a bounty hunter, destorying all computers and memory sticks until no trace of Amy Adams is left.

                    • Ohhh, starter kits. Those are always cool.

                      Of course, I’m trusting that I’ll be your ONLY sidekick and that I won’t have to have a battle royale to weed out all the others? There’s only enough room for ONE eyepatch on this adventure…

                    • I’m so gruff and determined, that people will fell I’m selling out by having a sidekick at all. But there’s room on my motorcycle and you seem keen, so hop on.

                    • Well, if we need to, we can always have a spectacularly dramatic falling out where we try to kill each other and then are reunited by the realization that we want this movie to not exist.
                      It would be good for the ratings of the reality tv show.

                    • The show has been sold, pre-cancelled, to NBC. Us falling out is the climax of season two.

                    • No, that’s in the prequel season we launch after that, starts with the finale.

                    • Man, good thing you’re handling this. I’m totally lost.

                      Who are the people we have to bounty hunt against? I know we’re getting computers, but a face to put in front of the audience is always good.

                    • Any Adams is in for season two, she loves the concept. I’m thinking of not even making season one to save some cash, we deep dive in with season two, then quit while we’re ahead. The adventures of Film Authority; Bunty Hunter. Heading to NBC this fall.

                    • Yeah, yeah.
                      Also, since I’ve got the laser crossbow and eyepatch, do I talk like a pirate or a blueblood from old money? I’ll need to know so I can practice.

                      If Adams has greenlit this, then I’m fully in.

                    • Just spoke to Amy, and I’m afraid you’re out, sorry, she feels like the bunty Hunter should walk alone. There is a great role for you as an old woman who’se head I drive over, so not a bust for you by any means.

                    • Well, I’ll have to talk to my agent. We’ll get back to you.

                      I always knew Amy had it in for me. Ever since she hooked up with Big Blue I was just a footnote. Feelz bad man, feelz bad.

                      However, on the positive. Playing an old lady will allow me to really stretch my creative talent. I think the world might just be ready for Old Lady Bookstooge….

                    • That’s what Amy felt! You guys are so on the same page. This scene will be so realistic, it’ll look like we’ve actually driven a steamroller over your head! And there will be blood and skull coming out, classic reality tv! Your agent signed a waiver so there’s no liability issues. We’re good to go!

                    • Haha! She’s be driving the steamroller! No stunt doubles, real personal! That’s how she thinks of you!

  1. Co-sign this review! You know how fond I am of rom coms, and very forgiving of their tropes. But my opinion watching was simply wondering how they such a bad movie could be made. I’d would’ve thought Amy Adams could’ve carried even the worst movie, but Leap Year proves me wrong.

    • Totally. Adam’s has been a knockout in almost everything, and Goode has got what it takes. This should have been passable on star power alone. I should warn you that I’ve had recent exposure to The Wedding Planner and Paul Rudd in Over my Dead Body, and rather than quarantine, will be going public in the hope of reducing infection rates to these dreadful rom-cons. How hard can it be?

      • Haha yes The Wedding Planner is the worst rom ever made because I didn’t want JLo to get together with McC but with the other much betty guy that she dumped. That has to be the cardinal sin of rom coms!

        • Totally. And Hugh Grant picked the wrong girl in Four Weddings. J Lo should have gone after her hunky ex rather than Matt Mc or even instant-pasta cook/twit Massimo, even if he built her a doll’s house! I’m coining the word ‘Rom-con’ to describe the con trick of being fooled into watching this muck…

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