Leap Year (2010)

Matthew Goode in Leap Year

An old Irish tradition allows a woman to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day, February 29, without fear of rejection, for the men will have to accept if proposed to on this day. This gives Anna, a control-freak of a woman, the idea to propose to her cardiologist-boyfriend of 4 years in Dublin. She travels to Ireland to meet her boyfriend there and propose to him, but is met with unfortunate circumstances that derail her from her organized schedule and plan. She gets stuck in the rural area and, desperate to get to Dublin by Leap Day, hires Declan, a rude Irishman and pub owner, to drive her to the city. The journey is less than pleasant as each continue to bicker and argue and fight through most of the way.

The movie’s an honest-to-goodness no-brainer cheesefest of a romantic-slash-screwball comedy. Predictable, with painfully obvious green screen scenes that take away from the overall beauty it has (however little it may be), and Goode’s thick Irish accent that render speech nearly impossible to understand lead one to the conclusion that this is an utter failure of a movie. Well, compared to classics such as Sleepless in Seattle or While You Were Sleeping, it probably is, but for some reason, the movie still is able to retain a certain charm that keeps one interested enough to see the movie to the end.

Nearly stereotyped as a flighty leading lady no thanks to her success as lead in Enchanted, Adams proves her rom-com mettle by bringing together lovability and a maddening quality to her character, Anna. One might still expect her to flutter her hands in this movie, given her character’s job to “prettify” spaces, but she manages to hold it in, retaining the grace of the flutter and adding a certain firmness and decidedness in her decorating duties. Her banter with Goode is both amusing and boring, but you can’t tear yourself away from the screen. Goode is rough, rugged, and rude and you’ll love him for it. His initial surly attitude and childish taunts of Adams’s character provide the balance to Anna’s prim and proper demeanor.

The elements are all there: two lead characters with opposing qualities stuck together for a period of time, witty and sarcastic repartee, beautiful scenery ruined by the obvious hide of the green screen–it’s a typical romantic-comedy alright. It makes you groan, it makes you sigh, it makes you laugh and it makes you fall in love with Matthew Goode.

It’s not perfect, but it’s still a good enough watch. Check it out yourself.

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