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Learning that every four years in Ireland, on the 29th of February, a woman may propose marriage to a man — imagine! — Anna follows Jeremy to that country, where he has conveniently gone for a medical conference. Blown off course by weather and transit problems, she lands in the company of the aforesaid Declan, hirsutely and monosyllabically played by the handsome Mr. Goode, who seems eager to show off his gruff manliness but unsure of just how to go about it.
His solution — or rather, that offered by the filmmakers — is to insult, ignore and mock his co-star until a decent interval passes and he can fall in love with her. Ms. Adams, meanwhile, is subjected to a series of humiliations that quickly come to seem arbitrary and cruel. Anna may be a privileged North American career gal, but Ms. Adams, with her soft features and trembling overbite, is not cut out to play the steely, entitled princess who might deserve the rustic comeuppance that Anna receives. Deserving or not, she is subjected to mud, rain, hail, cow manure, vomit and other indignities.
No effort is made to provide either Anna or Declan with coherent personalities, or even interesting foibles. We know that she is an obsessive planner who leaves nothing to chance, but then again she seems to have crossed the ocean with a pair of expensive and impractical high-heeled shoes as her only footwear. The reasons for this are obvious enough: The shoes complement the tight skirts that Ms. Adams also wears in bad weather and hostile terrain, and also sink comically into muck, sand and other nasty stuff.
As for Declan, he mopes and sneers and calls her an “eedjit” until she can resist his charms no longer. Their initial antagonism might be promising — hostility is often the catalyst for romantic-comedy bliss — if either one did or said anything funny, clever, provocative or even slightly memorable. Instead there are exchanges like the following, on the subject of the supposed tradition that gives this movie its title.
Declan: It’s a load of poo.
Anna: No it isn’t. It’s romantic.
Much as one hates to contradict a lady, the gentleman has a point.
“Leap Year” is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). No sex. No jokes. No serious swearing. No violence. Nothing.
Opens on Friday nationwide.
Directed by Anand Tucker; written by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont; director of photography, Newton Thomas Sigel; edited by Nick Moore; music by Randy Edelman; production designer, Mark Geraghty; produced by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman, Chris Bender and Jake Weiner; released by Universal Pictures. Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes.
WITH: Amy Adams (Anna), Matthew Goode (Declan), Adam Scott (Jeremy) and John Lithgow (Jack).
WritersDeborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont
StarsAmy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott
Running Time1h 40m
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Last updated: Nov 2, 2017