What parents need to know
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?
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?