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DVD review: I Give it a Year
June 2, 2013
There are plenty of what you might call ‘typical’ rom-coms; those that start with two eligible, attractive individuals who are more times than not, heterosexual, experiencing some sort of conflict and by the end run into each other’s arms in a state of euphoria. This formula has a proven successful track record, spanning many years but it can be so generic and predictable that an injection of originality is more than welcome.
Dan Mazer’s I Give it a Year is one such film that attempts to break the mould and to a certain degree it does so very well. Starring Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids and Wicker Park) as Nat and Rafe Spall (One Day) as Josh it begins where the standard romantic comedy finishes with the pair meeting one New Year’s Eve and marrying after a whirlwind romance, despite them being polar opposites. Nat is an ambitious, highly strung career woman and Josh is a laid-back struggling novelist and yet in the throes of delirious and dream-like love they ignore the warnings of their friends and pursue a life-long commitment to each other.
As the honeymoon becomes a thing of the past and they return to real life, the couple start to wonder if they have made the right choice, especially with the presence of Josh’s ex girlfriend, Chloe (Anna Faris) and Nat’s handsome new American client, Guy (Simon Baker, The Mentalist) who perhaps offer very tempting alternatives. As their first anniversary draws near, neither wants to be the first to give up, but will they make it?
I Give it a Year has many of the same qualities of a ‘typical’ rom-com whilst at the same time offering viewers a cherry on the top. All the performances are good, especially from Minnie Driver as husband hater Naomi and Anna Faris in a somewhat more serious role (for her). Laugh out loud moments are frequent, especially in a scene with Josh, Nat and her parents and some very sordid pictures which is absolutely hilarious. Some of the humour is a little bit childish and unnecessary, particularly from Josh’s best friend Danny (Stephen Merchant) who really, just needs to get lost. The ending too, is ridiculous and makes no sense, as though Mazer was forced to rush and finish the film with a gun pointed at his head (or something).
Ultimately, I Give it a Year is a refreshing change to the genre and offers many humorous moments, though it is far from perfect and I can’t help but compare all comedies to the phenomenal Bridesmaids (my bad) which it certainly ain’t. Worth a watch if you just fancy a quiet night in on a Friday night.
Samuel Sims, Senior Film Editor.
I Give it a Year is released on DVD tomorrow.