x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Leap Year

With a weak script and a cast full of stereotypes, Leap Year is a rom-com too far.

Director: Anand Tucker Starring Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott

Does any of us really need to watch another film about a woman in her late twenties or early thirties who is desperate to get married?

If, for some reason, this subject matter interests you, then there is already a whole host of movies to choose from: 27 Dresses, Bride Wars, He's Just Not That Into You, to name but a few. Well, if you've already exhausted all those options, and still feel there is a void that needs to be filled, then Leap Year is the film for you. For everyone else, I'd venture to say that it isn't really worth watching.

Anna (Amy Adams) is a successful, attractive, self-assured (albeit whiny) woman, whose desire to get hitched reduces her to an irrational wreck. Four years into a relationship with the smarmy cardiologist Jeremy (Adam Scott), she is sick and tired of waiting for him to get down on bended knee and produce that elusive diamond, which is apparently the secret to eternal happiness. So Anna decides, on a mildly hysterical whim, to follow her commitment-shy partner to Dublin and take advantage of a leap year tradition that allows (that's right, allows) women to propose on February 29.

The big question here isn't whether he will say yes, but what it will it take for Anna to realise that marrying the materialistic Jeremy isn't the greatest of ideas. Such conclusions, it seems, cannot be reached alone and another man must materialise before she is brought to her senses, and starts to question their relationship. Cue the appearance of the ruggedly handsome, but rather prickly, local Declan (Matthew Goode), whom Anna enlists to help her reach Dublin in time after her plane is forced to make an emergency landing. You need a man to do that sort of thing, you see. Things don't go to plan for the uptight American, and what follows is a rather predictable odyssey of errors: the car breaks down, the two of them bicker continually, ably supported by the occasional yokel, straight from country-bumpkin central casting.

Of course, in a real shocker of a twist, as they make their way across the picturesque landscape, the initial frostiness begins to thaw, they both teach each other a few home truths and start to fall in love.

The ending of the film leaves you feeling both happy and confused. Happy the whole thing is over, and confused by the point it is trying to make. Leap Year is not smart, sassy, or funny enough to warrant praise. While it may well be intended as innocent fun, the premise that it hammers home - that for women, the only thing that matters is a ring on their finger and a sashay down the aisle - is an unenlightened one.