Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Leap Year

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sensuality and language
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and non-explicit situation, implied nudity
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2010

A movie’s premise can be implausible and still work. The audience does not have to buy into whatever it is that the hero and heroine are after long as we believe that the movie’s characters believe in it. But in “Leap Year,” the premise and its ensuing complications are so preposterous that it just can’t work, despite the best efforts of its adorable leads and postcard-pretty settings. It has become something of a tradition to lead off the year with a weak romantic comedy, and we can cross the 2010 edition off the list.

The ones to blame here are screenwriters Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont, also responsible for the mind-numbingly painful Surviving Christmas and Made of Honor. Once, many years ago, they made a fresh and endearing little film about a high school graduation party with a cast of promising newcomers and a soundtrack of unexpected treats. That was “Can’t Hardly Wait.” But since then, they have made one formulaic, synthetic failure after another.

Their first movie had heart. Everything since then has been about what can get studio approval. These are “elevator pitch” movies — the premise is based on a successful film and can be summarized in an elevator ride, and the deal-makers rely on established stars with a lot of appeal to make it work. Their last movie tweaked “My Best Friend’s Wedding” by making the BFF who wanted to stop the nuptials the guy. This one takes the idea of the glossy “French Kiss,” the classics “I Know Where I’m Going” and “It Happened One Night” and about two dozen other squabbling-couple-dealing-with-a-disaster-prone-journey movies and, as Woody Allen once said of his mother’s cooking, “puts it through the de-flavorizing machine.”

Amy Adams in full twinkle mode plays Anna. She is, predictably, uptight, a bit of a control freak, and dying to have her perfect-on-paper boyfriend propose to her. But alas, he gives her diamond earrings instead of an engagement ring, just before he leaves for a meeting in Dublin. When her ne’er-do-well father (John Lithgow) — can his unreliability be the source of her need to be in control? — tells her that in Ireland, women can propose on February 29, she decides that in spite of her lifelong fear of flying, she will pop over to Dublin to pop the question.

But of course the best-laid plans of perky heroines in romantic comedies always go wrong, and here enters the complication. Handsome bartender Matthew Goode, for reasons that are too dull to go into, agrees to get her the rest of the way to Dublin, and all of the predictable problems line up like an obstacle course between us and time to go home. Car problems. Party crashing. Having to pretend to be married. Some flickers of romance that are quickly crushed by some un-funny contrivances and pratfalls. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.



  • http://www.examiner.com/x-9207-Baltimore-Movies-Examiner Tom Clocker – Baltimore Movie Examiner

    Nell,
    Spot on review. You hit all the same points I did! It was soooo predictable and a straight carbon copy of some romantic comedies (I even mentioned French Kiss in my review too!). Just a poor, poor attempt at one of the easiest genres of film to write for.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-9207-Baltimore-Movie-Examiner~y2010m1d8-Movie-review-Leap-Year-3-out-of-10
    Thanks!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, Tom! I am always delighted when you put in a link to your reviews so our readers can check them out. Much appreciated.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-9207-Baltimore-Movies-Examiner Tom Clocker – Baltimore Movie Examiner

    No problem…love stopping by your page…it’s always a pleasure!

Previous Posts

The Other Woman
The latest in a female-centered revenge comedy genre that extends from "9 to 5" through "She-Devil," "The Other Woman" is intended to be a merry little tale of female empowerment and grrrl power.  Instead it is soggy, haphazard, poorly paced slapstick mansplained by director Nick Cassavetes from a

posted 6:00:59pm Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Finding Vivian Maier
Vivian Maier was a Chicago-area nanny.  Only the children in her care knew how much she loved taking pictures.  After her death, the possessions she had in storage were auctioned off and a man named John Maloof bought some boxes of negatives, thinking he might finds some images for his research ab

posted 6:00:24pm Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Walking With the Enemy
Why do we keep making movies about the Holocaust? Because we are still trying to understand one of the most shocking, inhumane tragedies in history. Because it is the essence of heightened, dramatic storylines, with the most depraved real-life villains, the bravest heroes, and the direst moral di

posted 6:00:01pm Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Ebertfest Kicks Off With "Life Itself"
Steve James ("Hoop Dreams") presented "Life Itself," the documentary about Roger Ebert, last night at the majestic Virginia Theater in Roger's home town of Urbana, Illinois, where Roger watched films as a boy and as a college student at the University of Illinois.  He told us he had always thought

posted 9:28:24am Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz stars in the revenge comedy, "The Other Woman" this week, so it is a good time to look back at some of the highlights of her remarkably varied career. Director Charles Russell said he wanted to give Diaz the full movie star glamor treatment in her first feature film appearance in "Th

posted 8:00:04am Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.