Are you suffering from rom-com fatigue after too many tired meet-cutes and seen-it-a-million-times storylines? Of course you are! Which is why you might want to pay special attention to Jason Segel and Emily Blunt as they discuss all the ways in which their new movie, “The Five-Year Engagement,” is not going to follow the well-trod path of the traditional romantic comedy—not least because both of these talented actors are just as sick as you are of all the cookie-cutter films in the genre. In fact, when Jason and Emily sat down for a conversation with MTV News about what makes this film different, Jason was the first to bemoan how predictable the usual Hollywood fare has gotten.
“I think that most romantic comedies are very formulaic, and you know exactly what’s going to happen,” he acknowledged, before listing off the usual timeline of events that almost all rom-coms follow. “But this starts with the engagement, and I think it’s a very real exploration of how a couple—how the power dynamic changes over five years.”
In other words: Don’t be looking for a boy-meets-girl setup that runs into trouble and finally culminates in a boombox-over-the-head-style romantic gesture that leads to a happily-ever-after. Even if, as Emily pointed out, that sort of plot has become Hollywood shorthand for what love ought to look like.
“It’s funny, I feel like movies usually have a perspective on what a perfect relationship is,” Emily said. But she explained that both she and Jason rejected that perspective in favor of something real: “I think what’s nice about this is that it does feel like a very, very real relationship. We really wanted the characters to feel awkward, and floored, andthey’re desperately struggling to be together and make it perfect. And they are incredibly loving of each other.”
But, of course, there is conflict:
“Life gets in the way and the dynamics change,” Emily admitted. “And we brought our own personal ideas: How would you react? How would that make you feel?”
So, what does happen in “The Five-Year Engagement”? Neither actor would get more specific, but Jason told us that “it’s got a little bit of everything: it’s hilarious, and there are broad moments, and there are very sad solemn moments.”
Most important, however: Both the stars of the film clearly feel that they’ve made something real and good with this movie. And, y’know, not to oversell it or anything, but Jason had this to say:
“It’s one of the things that I’m most proud of in my entire career.”
Which, coming from a guy who played a butt-naked breakup scene opposite Kristen Bell and actually made it poignant and heartbreaking, is kinda really saying something. We’re sold!
Are you going to check out “The Five-Year Engagement” when it hits theaters this weekend?