e It A Review
I Give It A Year **1/2 (out of five)
Rom-com in reverse I Give It A Year, from writer/director Dan Mazer, definitely deserves points for effort, the challenge undertaken being to reverse the structure of the traditional rom-com by having a couple marry before the opening credits and then present their marriage unravelling. This stated purpose is essentially achieved.
Along the way, however, Mazer decides to give his dual protagonists two other people to fall for, thus, essentially, turning his anti-rom-com into two simultaneous rom-coms. This is a lot for anyone to handle (perhaps Woody Allen in his golden era?) and it creates serious problems.
Basically, there is no way to make all four characters in this melange likable without sacrificing tension in the marriage; thus Josh (Rafe Spall), the husband in the marriage, comes off as a juvenile idiot compared to gorgeous, smart, successful Nat (Rose Byrne), yet we are still meant to root for him making it with lovely, appealing, über conscientious Chloe (Anna Farris). Meanwhile, Nat is pursued by the creepiest excuse for a romantic object in recent memory, industrialist Guy (Simon Baker, in a very strange, deeply unlikeable turn).
It’s Byrne’s movie and she runs away with it, giving the kind of total rom-com performance – gorgeous, cute, wacky, vulnerable, physical, sexy and wide-eyed – that, in a great example of the genre, could’ve launched her Diane Keaton / Meg Ryan / Julia Roberts style into the romantic leading lady megasphere. But this vehicle is no starship; it’s a London cab: workmanlike, more old-fashioned than hip, and carrying two pricks.