The Five-Year Engagement

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Five-Year Engagement Movie Poster Image
Apatow-produced comedy mixes romance, adult humor.
  • R
  • 2012
  • 124 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie's central message is that relationships aren't perfect, and nobody will be everything to their partner at all times. This dose of realism contradicts the dewy-eyed love that blinds many young couples on the path to matrimony, but it's important for adults to realize as their relationships evolve and mature.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tom and Violet sometimes act childish and immature, but mostly they try to speak honestly about their feelings -- a tough but necessary part of being involved in a real partnership.


Some heated arguments and a few accidents involving a crossbow, a cleaver, and frostbite that feature grisly images of reasonably serious injuries (though the tone is light/humorous). Some scenes feature deer hunting. One man angrily threatens another with bodily harm, chases him down the street, and then takes a few swings at him, though it's not really much of a fight.


Many scenes with romantic/passionate kissing. Several others show couples engaged in sex, though there's no graphic nudity (but one extended sequence includes yelling, thrusting, and multiple positions). One male character's naked backside makes several appearances, and one cooking scene shows him wearing an apron decorated with a lifelike drawing of a nude male physique. Tom fakes an orgasm in one scene, and there's a scene in which his brother uses a carrot and sour cream to simulate the act of masturbation. Plenty of suggestive talk, including a man who says he deserves to get "super laid."


Frequent swearing includes many uses of "s--t," "f--k," "ass," "d--k," "t-ts," "bitch," "c--t," "damn," "ass," "hell," "goddamn," and more.


Several people use Apple computers, and the University of Michigan plays an key role in the film. Zingerman's, a well-known deli in the school's hometown, has a big role in the film and is mentioned by name, repeatedly, and praised in glowing terms.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several scenes show people drinking at parties, at bars, and at other social events. A woman sometimes steels herself with a drink before difficult conversations. Some people get quite drunk on occasion and are later shown with hangovers or suffering from other problems related to overindulging.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Five-Year Engagement is a Judd Apatow-produced romantic comedy that stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt as a couple who finds that, the longer their engagement lasts, the more potential problems they discover, and the harder it becomes for them to follow through on matrimony. There's tons of innuendo and adult sexual references, an extended sex scene with multiple positions (though no graphic nudity), a few scenes showing men naked from behind, and plenty of risque language (including "f--k," "s--t," and more). Overall, though, the tone is more "heartwarming romcom" (with a dash of bawdiness) than outright "raunchy comedy," and the film has worthwhile things to say about grown-up relationships.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMJM24MJM24 May 29, 2013

best ever

not the best movie for younger kids
Adult Written byTellingTheTruthx May 8, 2012

Great Movie!

IT IS RATED R! That's all you have to know! If your kid isn't 18 and you don't want them to see it, THEN DON'T TAKE THEM! It really is as si... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byperiodic.table November 26, 2020
Teen, 15 years old Written byNvG Nick November 30, 2015

The Five-Year Engagement Review

The Five-Year Engagement combines adult humor with a sad, romantic story to create one of the better rom-coms out there. Young kids might find it boring with a... Continue reading

What's the story?

After a grand proposal that goes adorably awry, Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt), who clearly adore each other, become engaged. But when Violet lands a prestigious fellowship at the University of Michigan, wedding plans grind to a halt so they can relocate. Though Tom is less than thrilled about quitting his job at a fancy San Francisco restaurant and moving to the Midwest, he tries to be supportive. But while Violet thrives, he founders, begins to withdraw, and, well, gets obsessive about distracting himself from his less-than-fulfilling life -- including finding myriad ways to cook venison. The longer they stay, the greater the toll it takes on their relationship, and it's clear the problem will only get worse when Violet's position is extended. Will they ever get married?

Is it any good?

The Five-Year Engagement isn't perfect (due to some overlong scenes and lowbrow humor), but it's better than so many others in this genre, and that's reason enough to love it. 

Like a delicate souffle that flops when the balance is off, a romcom fails when there's too much cheese, not enough romance, extra servings of cliches, an overdose of fluff, or zero chemistry between the two leads. Luckily for THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT, it has the perfect amount of all the right ingredients -- heart, irreverent humor, snark, wit, and happily ever after -- for a winning film, one that might even hold a little wisdom in the end. Modern relationships are hard, and engagements in this age of doubt and disconnection can be harder still. So when viewers aren't laughing at sight gags involving awful sweaters and sociopathic psychological experiments, they'll find themselves wondering how Tom and Violet are supposed to make it work -- and cheering for them to do so.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Five-Year Engagement compares to other romantic comedies. Is it more believable than other movies? Why or why not?

  • How does it compare to other "Apatow-ian" comedies, which are generally known for being raunchy (if heartfelt)? Does it push the envelope as far? Why do so many comedies seem determined to cross as many lines as possible?

  • How does the movie portray sex? Were the sex scenes risque or funny? Do they have a point, other than to elicit laughs? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • Talk about the sacrifices that people make for love. Is it unusual for a film to focus on a man who makes sacrifices for the benefit of his partner's career?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy and romance

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