I Give It A Year
- Director:Dan Mazer
- Cast:Minnie Driver , Simon Baker, Rose Byrne, Anna Faris
- Release Date:February 28, 2013
- Running time:97 minutes
- Film Worth:$13.00
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Its premise is an original and audacious one, but it ultimately gives way to all the cliches of the genre it is attempting to subvert.
For his directorial debut, Dan Mazer (one of the screenwriters behind Borat and Bruno) conjures up an admirably audacious premise: a romantic comedy that roots for the lead couple to split rather than stay together. While most rom-coms wrap at the wedding, I Give It A Year starts with the happy nuptials between Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall), and then fast-forwards nine months, with the couple looking to call it quits, and both fighting feelings for respective others (Anna Faris and Simon Baker).
The set-up walks a tricky line, with Mazer having to show why Nat and Josh aren’t suited, while ensuring that there’s also chemistry there too. He scores two major trump cards, however, with Byrne and Spall, who believably chart a couple whose reasons for falling for each other are now the same factors pushing them apart. It’s also to the actors’ credit that their characters – who appear irritating caricatures on paper (Nat’s the haughty perfectionist, and Josh the endless goofball) – are imbued with warmth and wryness on screen.
While tonally different, Mazer’s film brings to mind last year’s more loosely played Celeste & Jesse Forever, which also aimed to upend traditional rom-com conventions by depicting a couple similarly destined to take separate paths, but it laced its humour with pain and poignancy. Here, the premise seems set up simply to garner laughs, and while many are admittedly found in the tart dialogue and terrific supporting players (Minnie Driver is a stand-out as Nat’s man-hating big sister), the humour often resorts to formula, with pat solutions handed out neatly at the end. For a film attempting to subvert the genre, it ironically ends up being as enjoyable but ultimately forgettable as every other above average rom-com.