"The Five-Year Engagement" is the marriage of dreary characters with a script that's neither funny nor poignant. This is a union that feels as if it runs a half-decade long.
Jason Segel, whose acting and writing skills in "The Muppets" may be a fluke, stars with Emily Blunt as a couple who fall in love but have trouble getting to the altar. Advertising for the film makes it look as if it's a series of hilarious events that keep sidetracking the couple. If only that was the case.
Their trip down the aisle gets stalled by a new job, a cross-country move and some relationship doubts. Maybe the delays would have been interesting if the couple had been pulled apart by them. The fact they continue to live in the same house means they have a life together without a marriage certificate. That makes the wedding a nice goal, but it's not so monumental that the delays feel funny or sad.
Director Nicholas Stoller, who co-wrote the script with Segel, has created a jumbled mess of a film. At times -- such as a chef cutting off a finger and the blood spurting like a geyser -- it wants to be a wild comedy. Then it quickly shifts to deep conversations about love and commitment. Stoller's inability to blend these comedy and drama aspects leaves both a mess.
The approach might have worked if Segel didn't just lumber his way through a scene. His comic timing is so off that he has to depend on visual gags like growing a beard or walking like Bigfoot to get laughs. His lack of energy drains the movie.