Plan to Skip This Five-Year Engagement
- Friday, April 27, 2012
Fortunately, woven throughout the “hide your eyes and plug your ears” sections are some seriously hilarious moments. For example: Violet and Suzie have an intense conversation using (per a child’s request) Elmo and Cookie Monster voices—with spot-on imitations of both Muppets—turning what could have been a strident quarrel into one of the funniest movie scenes I’ve witnessed in years.
Jason Segel is the right man for the job of Tom; he radiates sensitivity while maintaining a certain teddy bear charm. You may wish he’d grow a backbone, but he’s always amiable, even in his mountain man phase. Emily Blunt plays Violet with a nice intensity, but Alison Brie is the standout with her over-the-top portrayal of Violet’s dramatic younger sister.
As the years roll on—and at times it does feel like years—Tom and Violet find more and more reasons to put off their big day. One wonders why they bother: they don’t seem to have any clear grasp of what marriage entails and they’re already living together in conjugal semi-bliss. What do they think marriage will accomplish? It’s never really clear.
Meanwhile, the two people who first seemed like the losers in the group (Alex and Suzie) manage to carve out a solid relationship as parents and partners. Refreshingly, both are deeper characters than they first appear, offering mature advice to their supposedly older and wiser friends/sibling. In the end, there is a little nod to grace. No one is perfect; we have to cut each other some slack. Once our couple learns to do that, there is some hope they may actually make it ‘till death do us part.’
- Drugs/Alcohol: Quite a bit of drinking and drunkenness at bars, parties, and at home. Violet turns to alcohol every time she has a major announcement. Character at a party admits to being an alcoholic (after downing a drink). Several characters are shown under the influence; one character discussing “pickling weed” and concludes “it was a waste of weed.” Character in hospital feels the effects of prescribed painkillers. Substance abuse is apparently par for the course for most characters.
- Language/Profanity: The f-word makes regular appearances in all its tenses and as both noun and verb, sometimes combined with “mother”; Jesus’ name used as a curse; the s-word alone and combined with bull; the b-word; pri**, bal**, and di** used to refer to male genitalia (and male characters); di** also used as a verb (****ing around); male characters frequently refer to their man parts and their size or lack thereof. Female character described as having “sagging tits and a loose vagina”. A discussion of faking orgasm after showing someone do that very thing. Attraction to woman described as sending her “telepathic weiner missiles.” A double entendre-filled conversation goes horribly wrong when one man blurts out “have you ever had a white pen** up your bu**?” Character invited to “suck my f-ing di**.” After a passionate kiss over rising bread in a kitchen, character claims to see male’s “bon** impressed in the dough.” All this language is freely used in front of small children and by a mother to her adult son. There may have been more, but audience laughter drowned out much of the dialogue.
- Sex/Nudity: Sex is a frequent topic of conversation (often described with the f-word) and couples are shown in the act in multiple positions and varied levels of intensity. Female chef character is gay and turns up with her partner. A friend shows a PowerPoint presentation of “Tom’s Past Lovers” at Tom and Violet’s engagement party. The couple lives together before marriage. A character uses a “carrot weenie” to mimic masturbation; creamy dressing is involved and it is easily the most disgusting scene in the film. Violet’s unmarried sister gets pregnant. Several female characters reveal significant amounts of upper leg and cleavage even while clothed. Tom sports an apron bearing a naked male figure (probably Michelangelo’s David) and when he turns around we see his bare behind, which makes another appearance later in the film. In a costume party scene viewers are treated to a close up of a man’s gyrating hips encased in a diaper. Violet proposes having sex on the street in the snow and invites a man’s attentions by saying she wants “something different.”
- Violence: Chef cuts off finger while chopping, blood spurts onto restaurant window. Man slips and falls while scraping ice off car window. Several (fake-looking) deer shot and killed in hunting scenes; dead deer slides off car roof and winds up seated in front seat. Child accidentally shoots woman with crossbow; shaft removed from her leg and blood shown. Men shown with guns, crossbows, and other hunting weapons. Running woman hit by opening car door (appears to suffer no lasting damage). Brief fight; man falls trying to scramble over car. Man loses toe to frostbite (oozing toe shown). Vomit in mouth, swallowed, gagging.
- Spiritual Themes: Sex is treated as a casual activity and marriage doesn’t seem to mean much, which is odd considering the couple involved has such trouble tying the knot.Violet’s dad turns up with a new trophy wife each time he appears and Suzie comments, “It’s your wedding; you only get a few of those.”
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