UK Release Date: 8th February 2013
Runtime: 97 minutes
Director: Dan Mazer
Writer: Dan Mazer
Starring: Rafe Spall, Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, Stephen Merchant
Synopsis: After an incompatible couple rush into marriage, relatives struggle to believe that their relationship will last any longer than a year. Matters are complicated further when temptation appears in both of their lives.
Sandwiched in amongst the ironic non-romantic Valentine’s releases like A Good Day to Die Hard was a film that shamelessly fit into the mantle of “that Valentine’s romcom”. The difference here is that I Give It a Year isn’t that romantic, but it’s very very funny. This is a romcom with very little rom, but a massive dose of com.
Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne play a couple whose nuptials are marred by an inappropriate best man speech (courtesy of a brilliant Stephen Merchant), inadvisable novelty dancing and the repeated assurance from family that the union won’t last more than a year. As temptation enters both of their lives in the form of a suave American businessman and Anna Faris as Spall’s cutesy old flame.
Reviewers and marketing teams have quickly dubbed I Give It a Year an anti-romcom. It isn’t. The fact it has a bit more bite to it than the average Katherine Heigl travesty doesn’t mean it isn’t a plain and simple romantic comedy. It does, however, start right at the end of the normal romcom formula and then slowly dismantles the concept of marital bliss.
It doesn’t matter even for a second that the characters do not resemble any normal human being that has ever existed, because it’s such fun to be in their company. It also helps that writer-director Dan Mazer – of Borat fame – peppers his script with a series of wonderful bits of observation that tap into very British neuroses and dysfunctions. The laughs come thick and fast, although Stephen Merchant is woefully underused.
Spall is perfectly solid and gives it his all as a loveable oaf and Rose Byrne manages to do middle class bitch very well. Anna Faris is the highlight as a beautifully awkward women, who definitely shouldn’t do threesomes.
It’s obvious where the plot is going from quite early on, but I Give It a Year gets by on its witty script and the delightful smattering of absolute filth. It gets so much right that the clichés and niggles aren’t ultimately that important.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.