It was probably a good idea that I decided to wait 24 hours to write this review which has given me time to calm down after having to sit through however many minutes of completely regurgitated Hollywood crap that Leap Year became.
Leap Year is the story of a city girl from Boston, who has it all. Anna (Amy Adams) is a professional stager, which means she furnishes apartments for sale. She and her cardiologist boyfriend, Jeremy (Adam Scott) are about to get into the most prestigious apartment in town and now all that is missing is the ring. If you care to know more, she plans on proposing to him while he is on a business trip in Dublin because of an old tradition that states that women can propose to men on Leap Day in Dublin, which is three days from now. She hops on a plane and the disaster begins.
Oh, I forgot to mention that she will manage to fall in love with someone ELSE in three days. Someone, who for two and a half days, she hates. Then suddenly, the sun hits his cheeks in just the right way and all of the sudden she is willing to throw away everything she has in her life for this hunk of meat.
I’m all for romance stories of unbelievable proportions. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched Romancing the Stone, in which Kathleen Turner hates Michael Douglas’ character for a good portion of the film, but it’s well made, shot in real locations and made with good actors. Leap Year is not. Ok, so maybe parts were actually shot in Ireland, but some scenes did not help the story at all.
Now this is labeled as a romantic comedy, but I didn’t laugh one time. Whether it was because almost every point in the story was shown in the trailer, or this plot line has been beaten to death by Hollywood one too many times, I just don’t know any more.
From the opening scene, the green screen was just ridiculous. I am not a big CGI dork or anything, and I am female, but I just couldn’t take it through out the film. It was so bad, that it took away from the fact that they really were in Ireland for a lot of the shots, which was a beautiful place and could have been a third character. There was supposed to be a serious moment with a lovely view of Dublin in the background lighting the way, but it was lit so terribly it just made me mad. It looked like they were posing for Prom pictures in front of a photo back drop.
Amy Adams was sub par in this flick. I usually like the stuff she does. She is cute and quirky and naturally lovable. This role was not for her. She does not come off well as the have-it-all bitch. She just seemed lost in between something fierce from Devil Wears Prada and the humor of The Three Stooges. Matthew Goode plays Declan, the rude, Irish country boy that does it all and couldn’t care less about her agenda. Yet somehow spends the whole movie following her like a sick puppy. His acting was fine, but it just wasn’t believable that someone as young and good looking as him would spend his life running a bar/hotel/taxi service in a little town in the middle of nowhere. His rudeness did not come off very sincere either. It just seemed very scripted. The only upside to Matthew Goode was just looking at him. The other characters are basically absent except for a little in the beginning and end.
The story is what makes this so bad. I will say there haven’t been a lot of movies about Leap Year and also about Dublin, but stories about the girl who has the guy then some obstacle gets in her way (absence of engagement ring on finger) and she sets out to fix it, only to fall in love with someone else, that at first site, she would never have shit to do with, those are what I am so sick of. How am I supposed to believe that a young professional woman who would never be caught dead in a pair of sneakers would give up her perfect apartment, and dream job to move half way across the globe to dawn “shit-kickers” to tread through fields of cow poo with a country boy that she has only known for three days?
Shame on Hollywood for thinking we are so dense, and shame on us for continually forking over our hard earned dollars to this dribble. There are much better romance stories out there for you ladies, don’t be scared. You don’t have to pay for this movie because the poster has a hot guy on it and it is very well lit and looks happy. If you want some great romantic comedies, go rent: The Princess Bride, Romancing the Stone, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or Jerry Maguire. Or if you want movies from this year, opt for The Proposal with Sandra Bullock. Same concept, two people hate each other, but will fall in love somehow, only it is funny, endearing and has much better acting.
I give Leap Year 1 “good, original romantic comedy” out of 5.
by Angela Davis