Review of film: “LEAP YEAR”
PG for sensuality and language.
“ I transform spaces into something special. ”
“ You fried the whole village! ”
“ You speak fluent ‘con’. ”
“ No food. Great Beer. ”
“ Don’t worry-- it’ll all work out. ”
“ I love Louis. ”
“ Do you want to NOT make plans with me? ”
7.75 out of 10 stars (based on an advance screening of a film running around 1:40 which is scheduled to open January 8, 2010).
A Leap of “Faith” may be a bigger HURDLE than Expected this Time!
The title of this film comes from an old (& possibly outdated) tradition in Ireland that a woman can propose marriage to a man on February 29th of a Leap Year…
… That custom is related to frustrated Anna (AMY ADAMS) by her father Jim (JOHN LITHGOW), since her boyfriend of 4 years named Jeremy (ADAM SCOTT) keeps avoiding “popping the question” (which leaves her ready to pop a vein)…
… As Amy tells people, her job is as a “transformer”, doing interior-decorating “tweaks” that will help people rent or sell their living spaces. She’s very good at what she does, but very self-sufficiently an “OVER-planner” at almost everything in life…
… When cardiologist Adam goes to a conference in Ireland, Amy uses that as an excuse to rush to try to JOIN him before Leap Day pounces upon her-- a trip during which almost everything goes WRONG, due to bad weather, the people she meets, etc.…
… Desperate to get from a small town to Dublin in “time” (to offer her proposal), Amy reluctantly hires an Irish pub-owner named Declan (MATTHEW GOODE) to drive her there. She seems to have a “dark cloud” hanging over her in the way she tends to bring one PROBLEM after another into their travels. Declan keeps trying to “un-SPUNKY” her attitude & “calm” her down, but is seldom successful…
… There’s a lot of funny incidences and memorable characters they meet along the way, & you can see Amy starts to get ATTRACTED to Matthew… But is the feeling MUTUAL?… Will Amy get to Dublin on TIME to meet Adam? Will she give him the proposition she’s been planning for so long, &, if so, will she get the response she HOPES for?…
… Amy is typically lively, Matthew is charming in his often-“unaccommodating-to-her” way, & the supporting characters add to the fun without being “overwhelming” to the central situation…
… There are a couple of unexpected “TWISTS” at the end, which add to the overall satisfaction given by this cute film. (I normally never rate films by giving stars in “quarters”, but it seemed the only “FAIR” way to rate this surprisingly successful rom-com.)…
… (Here’s a little aside: MATTHEW GOODE was born in England, & while he often has played Englishmen in his acting (such as in 2004’s “CHASING LIBERTY”), he also is unusually good at playing people from OTHER countries such as being Irish in the above-reviewed film, & playing crazed American criminal Gary Spargo in 2007’s “THE LOOKOUT” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt [& I spoke to both of them when they held a very relaxed Q&A after a special screening in Chicago for that impressive film]… )
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