Tag Archives: Jacki Weaver

The Five Year Engagement

Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) met at a New Year’s Eve make-up-your-own-superhero party one year ago. On their anniversary, he gets down on one knee and proposes. It’s romantic and sweet and perfect in a way that only movies can pull off. The article-0-12D1557A000005DC-855_306x444.jpgengagement is easy and wonderful, and their engagement party is infuriatingly better than most people’s weddings. But then things get messy. Her sister (Alison Brie) hooks up with his best friend (Chris Pratt), and then Violet gets accepted at her dream school and a move is on the horizon. The wedding gets postponed.

What was your engagement like? When Sean proposed, he got down on his knee on a beach in the Bahamas on our 6 month anniversary. It was lovely. But until this week, I’d assumed that though he did the asking, I’d done the initiating. Hadn’t we decided to marry months before that? And hadn’t I been voicing some impatience? Turns out, Sean didn’t remember it like that at all. He didn’t even remember that I knew the proposal was likely – that we’d ring-shopped together, in fact. He was still worried I’d say no! We were engaged for a year, which is longer than Ms. Impetuous (that would be me) would have liked, but I had a sister and he had a brother that already had save-the-dates in the calendar year. So we waited our turn and spent the time planning the perfect wedding and attending some close runners-up. We also almost broke up (the birth of his first niece had Sean questioning whether my no-baby stance was right for him) and then almost couldn’t marry whether we wanted to or not (did I mention I was still technically married to someone else at the time? Divorcing crazy people is hard!) but in the end we got to legalize this bitch and recently celebrated 6 years of matrimonial togetherness.

Violet and Tom had a bumpy time too. Life doesn’t always make it easy on us. Jason Segel The-Five-Year-Engagementhad to lose 35lbs to even pretend to be good enough for Emily Blunt. They have great chemistry together, and you believe in their imperfect relationship. The jokes land, but so do the more sobering moments, the ones that remind us that when relationships work, they’re transformative, and when they don’t, they’re soul crushing.

Unfortunately, The Five Year Engagement is overlong and occasionally falls back on some pretty tired cliches. But I’d still consider it worth a watch, despite its flaws, even if it had me wondering what this movie would be like with Chris Pratt in the lead rather than playing second banana. The astounding supporting cast probably contributes to this movie’s bloat, but also adds to its charm: Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, Mimi Kennedy, Jacki Weaver, David Paymer, Jim Piddock, Rhys Ifans, Kumail Nanjiani, and Chris Pratt all steal scenes. Not everything in this film is brilliant, but it does manage to find some truths along the way, which I suppose is not unlike a marriage: it could be improved with some editing, but isn’t that life?

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The Voices

Ryan Reynolds. Ryan Reynolds. Ryan Reynolds.

No, I’m not trying to conjure him. I’m just trying to remind myself why I put myself through this in the first place.

I first watched and liked Reynolds when he was on a TV show called Two Guys, A Girl, And A Pizza Place. Yes, it’s a terrible name, and surprisingly, they shortened it a couple of seasons in to just the Two Guys & A Girl (even more surprising that there were a couple of seasons). Horrid as the show was, I’ve liked Reynolds on a scale sloping markedly downward ever since, probably because he’s coasted on being a pretty but empty husk of a the-voicesman. In fact, the more I think about this, the more I realize I didn’t watch this to see if Ryan Reynolds is capable of breaking the mold. I watched it for the talking animals.

The premise: Jerry is just a normal, likable guy who happens to have pets who can talk to him. His cat, Mr. Whiskers, is particularly evil, as I completely expect all cats are, so no one is overly surprised when the cat takes things to a sinister place when an office-crush stands Jerry up for a date. The only thing more satisfying than wet cat food is gruesome serial murder!

The movie is actually kind of interesting in a way – it does a good job of showing us Jerry’s psychosis by giving us contrasting views of what he’s experiencing vs. what everyone else is experiencing. The difference is chilling the first time you notice it, and it’ll haunt you for the rest of the movie.

Jacki Weaver is a stand-out as his court-appointed psychiatrist, which you can 06-voices-review.w750.h560.2ximagine is a doozie of a job. Weaver is always a delight, a god-damned delight, and she’s an excellent stand-in for the audience as Jerry moves from cute to creepy. Is Reynolds any good? It’s clear he’s really into this role, but he kind overdoes the vacant eye thing. Unless those are his real eyes and he’s been wearing convincing puppy dog contacts this whole time! But he’s got a touch of that pre-Deadpool, charming psychopathy that just kind of works.

I’ll make no bones about it: ‘The Voices’ is an odd duck. I’d venture to call this a black comedy, but I’m also wondering what’s blacker than black? Okay, just Googled it, and here’s the scoop: there is in fact a colour blacker than black, and it’s called Vantablack. It absorbs all but 0.035% of light. It’s so black that our puny little brains can’t even understand it, so if you were wearing a Vantablack unitard, your hands and feet would appear to be floating around magically. Which is about right for when your Scottish-accented cat tells you to behead the pretty blonde and stash her in myriad tupperware. You heard it here first, folks, a new genre called the Vantablack comedy, only to be unfurled when the black just doesn’t cover it. It’s the kind of movie you should list on your internet dating profile just to suss out the wackos who respond “Me too!” It’s a great barometer for the people you don’t want to meet in a non-public place, and if you dare to date, then do not stand them up, and if stand them up you must, be sure to call your mother and tell her you love her first.

The Voices isn’t as funny as it thinks it is, and never achieves any true suspense. If you take it at face value you’ll find some cheap voyeuristic thrills, and a good dose of madness (served cold, without the insight sidedish). So yeah. This one’s memorable if you embrace the wacky and don’t mind the macabre.