There is no point complaining that all romantic comedies are formulaic. That is the nature of the beast and you either like it or lump it. For me, complaining about it would be akin to being married to a sports star (Hello, Tiger Woods) and being surprised when he cheated on me. Some things just are, people!
Director Anand Tucker (Hilary and Jackie, Shopgirl) does nothing to revolutionize the romantic comedy genre with his latest film, “Leap Year”. He goes with it and creates a light, funny picture that you will enjoy while watching it then probably remember nothing about a month later.
The gist of the story is that Anna (Amy Adams), an uptight, super organized girl, is tired of waiting for her long-term boyfriend, Jeremy (Adam Scott), to propose to her so she heads on over to Dublin, Ireland to meet him and propose to him on February 29th. Anna’s father (John Lithgow) has long told her about how her grandmother proposed to her grandfather on Leap Day in accordance of an old Irish tradition that says once every four years on the last day of February it is okay for women to propose to their boyfriends.
While on a plane to Dublin, a storm diverts her plane to Wales and the weather continues to cause trouble for her as she tries to get out of Wales and into Ireland. A tugboat captain takes her across but leaves her in the small town of Dingle. At the seemingly only inn/pub in Dingle she gets the runaround from the patrons in the bar and even the owner, Declan (Matthew Goode).
Just when it seems like Anna will never be able to get to Dublin in the two days she has left, Declan changes his mind and agrees to driver her to Dublin. In financial trouble Declan is interested in the 500 Euros Anna is offering to whomever drives her. What should be a 5 hour drive turns into a two day nightmare due to cows crossing the road, a castle tour, the car crashing, and missing a train. It seems like everything is conspiring to keep Anna from proposing to her man, but during the ordeal it looks like maybe he isn’t really the man for her.
The film has plenty of heart, beautiful scenery and more than a few laughs. I thought while watching it that Amy Adams is one of the more likeable actresses working today. She lights up the screen whenever she is on it. Even though her character is completely anal you still end up liking her because of Adams. The beautiful scenery and the laughs come because of the setting – Ireland. The film captures the beauty – rugged and spectacular – very well and the people who are just too funny! The locals are more fun than a barrel of monkeys and charming to boot!
There is nothing in the film that you haven’t seen. You think to yourself “Yeah, yeah, they hate each other in the beginning – real opposites, but I know they will end together by the end of the film”. But it is come back to time and time again simply because people like it. Hollywood would not keep going back to that well if it was dry.
I also enjoyed it because it does not stoop to the lowest common denominator as many films seem to do today. Once again, it is a fun and sweet watch.