Leap Year Movie Poster Image

Leap Year

Tame but unimaginative romcom doesn't offer anything new.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although the movie makes the worthwhile point that women don’t have to sit and wait for their boyfriends to propose -- that they're in command of their own destinies -- it still pretty much hews to Hollywood's standard boy-meets-girl, boy-gets-girl, boy-loses-girl, couple-is-reunited fairy-tale structure.

Positive role models

Anna is very self-sufficient, but she comes off as kind of brittle, as if she just needs the "right guy“ to bring out her warmer side. Declan seems walled up -- like he's also waiting for the "right girl“ to make him feel safe enough to take a chance on love.

Violence

A guy gets into a fight with three bruisers who steal a woman’s luggage.

Sex

Three couples of various ages share stories about love and relationships; each tale ends with a kiss. A woman’s naked silhouette is shown behind a shower curtain.

Language

"Hell," "damn," "idiot“ and "jackass“ are about as rough as it gets. A couple of uses of "for God's sake."

Consumerism

Anna is label conscious, and much is made of her Louis Vuitton luggage.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A woman gets tipsy at a wedding reception; also social drinking at a pub, where one regular keels over from inebriation (it's played for humor -- but, parents, remind kids that getting drunk isn't funny!).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this upbeat but shallow romcom hews closely to traditional Hollywood formulas. While there isn't much in the way of age-inappropriate content for older tweens and teens -- who may find the banter between stars Amy Adams and Matthew Goode somewhat amusing -- the movie does tap into tired stereotypes about men, women, and romance. Adams' character is supposed to be seen as self-sufficient, but she ultimately comes off as yet another Hollywood female character who's just waiting for "the right one" to make everything right in her life. On the up side, language, sex, and violence are quite tame.

What's the story?

When her longtime boyfriend, Jeremy (Adam Scott), fails to propose before flying off to a medical conference in Dublin, Anna (Amy Adams) decides to take matters into her own hands. Leap Day (the 29th of February) is imminent, and the Irish apparently have a custom in which women can ask their boyfriends for their hand in marriage on that particular day. But a storm undoes her best-laid plans, and a detour lands her in beautiful but far-off Dingle. She hopes to get to the city in time by enlisting a broody local named Declan (Matthew Goode) as her guide ... but he may just prove too intriguing for her to resist.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Armchair tourists will find some good in this bland romantic comedy thanks to breathtaking shots of the Emerald Isle that will surely have them fantasizing about a visit. But there’s not much else going for LEAP YEAR. How a stew featuring the appealing Adams, the magnetic Goode, and lyrical director Anand Tucker (who also helmed Hilary and Jackie and Shopgirl) fails to generate any sparks is beyond comprehension. (John Lithgow even makes a cameo.) What we get instead is an uninspired romcom that steps into the genre’s every well-worn tread.

Polar-opposite personalities, meet-cute setup, overwrought situations created expressly to showcase how both characters change as they get to know each other -- that’s all here. And must the other guy always seem like such a stooge? What’s missing is chemistry -- Adams and Goode seem more like siblings -- and inventive storytelling to keep us glued to our seats, even though we know that, yes, indeed, there will be a happily ever after.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the film is saying about love and committment. Why does Anna want to marry Jeremy? Is she actually in love, or is she just ready to make a commitment and he happens to be the one she's with? What does that say about relationships?

  • Is Anna a positive role model for women? Is she dependent on relationships for happiness, or is she truly self sufficient?

  • How does this movie compare to other Hollywood romantic comedies? Is it a genre that’s difficult to reinvent? If so, why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 8, 2010
DVD/Streaming release date:May 4, 2010
Cast:Amy Adams, John Lithgow, Matthew Goode
Director:Anand Tucker
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sensuality and language

This review of Leap Year was written by

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Kid, 12 years old July 31, 2012

true talk

good movie nothing bad to say
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Adult Written bydms4t June 19, 2015

Refreshing, encouraging

I watched this with my husband and he really liked it too--so much that he wants to buy copies of it for all his family for Christmas. It is funny to me that so many reviewers call the story "hacked" and "already done" because, in fact, stories of this quality I find are appallingly rare. In a time which "heroes" are often distastefully "flawed" and "romance" often equates to gratuitous sex, I wonder that more folks didn't fall in love with this little film as we did. Here I should say that husband and I are definitely pro-sex--three kids folks!--but find today's cultural portrayal of sex as "harmless fun" to be neither honest nor helpful, especially not for girls who will carry the brunt of the risks and potential fallout. That being said, SPOILER ALERT!! I love the ending of this movie for the way it turns the question of a relationship into something which is definitively affirmed rather than the douchey sort of "well maybe if we have sex for awhile, something may come of it" mumbo-jumbo so popular in today's "modern" version of romance. There are some sillier lines and I feel like it could have gone further in it's themes, but I really do love this movie for what it dares to say about love.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byvballglam August 2, 2013

Soo disappointing

One of the worst movies I have ever seen. I would never want to watch it again. my mom was going to watch it and I told her that It would just be a waste of 2 hours.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking