REEL LIFE WITH JANE: Should You Take the Kids to See "Leap Year?"

leap_year_2by Jane Louise Boursaw

Reel Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG for sensuality and language
Released in Theaters: Jan. 8, 2010
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Runtime: 97 minutes
Directed by: Anand Tucker
Cast: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott
Official Site: http://www.leapyearfilm.net/

SYNOPSIS: A woman thinks she has her life all figured out, and thus flies to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend in the Irish tradition that allows women to propose on February 29.

Sex/Nudity: The story involves love and relationships, and includes some kisses. A woman’s naked silhouette is shown behind a shower curtain..

Violence/Gore: A woman’s luggage is stolen, and a guy gets into a fight with three tough guys over it.

Profanity: “Hell,” “damn,” “idiot,” and “jackass.”

Which Kids Will Like It? Kids ten and older who like romantic comedies.

Will Parents Like It? Overall, it’s not a great movie, but there’s nothing too objectionable for kids ten and older.

REVIEW: “Leap Year” isn’t the best romantic comedy ever made. The plot is about as predictable as they come, and the two leads have zero chemistry. You have to wonder if this is one of those movies where about half-way through, the cast and crew realized it just wasn’t working, but had to forge ahead because there was no turning back.

Okay, that’s the bad stuff. The good stuff is that despite all that, the story still made me happy and even a little weepy in a good way (believe me, it doesn’t take much). Sometimes, that’s enough.

Amy Adams plays a career-minded woman named Anna who’s been waiting four years for her boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) to propose to her. They’re getting ready to move into a fabulous new apartment together, and now seems like the perfect time to make it legal.

On the night of a romantic dinner together, Anna waits expectantly as Jeremy presents her with a small box. Inside, though, is not the engagement ring she’s been hoping for. It’s a pair of earrings. A really nice pair of earrings, but still … not a ring.

Jeremy, a cardiologist, immediately jets off to Ireland to a medical conference, leaving Anna to ponder her life. She discovers that Ireland has a tradition whereby a woman may propose to her beloved on Leap Day, February 29. Why she needs to travel across the globe to do this is beyond me. Why not just propose to him on American soil? Nonetheless, Anna embraces the plan and boards a plane to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

But her big plan is derailed when bad weather forces the plane down in Wales, leaving her in a remote part of the countryside where small pubs and mom-and-pop inns are the only sign of civilization.

She meets a pub owner named Declan (Matthew Goode) who’s in desperate need of cash to save his pub, so he agrees to escort her to Dublin, beginning with a ride in a tiny car. The two travelers are like oil and water, with his scruffy, distant demeanor in sharp contrast to her buttoned-up personality. Not only that, they encounter every sort of problem along the way, including car woes, weather issues, missed trains and the like.

But they start to like each other and, yeah, you can see where this is headed. Maybe the future Anna planned for herself isn’t the one she’s meant to live. Maybe she needs to be open to other possibilities.

I wouldn’t say to rush right out and see “Leap Year,” but it’s still a sweet movie with a happy ending. If you can get past the inevitable questions, that is, such as, “Did she pack no shoes besides 4-inch stilettos?”

And since it’s rated PG, there’s really nothing too objectionable for younger moviegoers. I saw it with my 12-year-old daughter and several of her friends, and they all agreed it was a cute movie, even if you might forget it a few days after you see it.

One good thing “Leap Year” has going for it is the gorgeous countryside. Much of it was filmed in Galway and Dublin, where quaint roads, Irish greenery, and stone fences dot the countryside, not to mention stunning cliffs that crowd against the crashing waves of the sea.

JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

janeboursawJane Louise Boursaw is a freelance journalist specializing in the movie and television industries. Visit her online at www.filmgecko.com, www.ReelLifeWithJane.com or email jboursaw@charter.net.

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