Leap Year has the cast and story to become at least a cute romantic comedy, though completely unoriginal, but all I can say is if this movie shows what happens on a leap year, then I am really glad they only come around once every four years.
Anna is the type of person with her life planned out. She already has a job she loves and is good at, she is (hopefully) moving into her dream apartment, and her boyfriend is about to propose to her. Or, at least she thought as much. Turns out more than one thing can come in that little box. Taking control of the situation, Anna decides to follow Jeremy to Ireland in order to propose to him on Leap Day (a tradition in which women are “allowed” to propose to their boyfriends and not have to wait around for them to pop the question). Unfortunately for Anna, her plane hits a rough patch and has to land early, making her journey to Dublin a little more problematic. Good thing there is a handsome Irishman to put up with her long enough to help her along the scenic route.
I am going to save you a lot of time and money now: if you watch the theatrical trailer here then you will get the sparknotes version of this film, one that is actually much better and just as entertaining as the full length version. Plus, it shows a lot of the romantic comedy clichés compiled to create Leap Year, including the “kiss the girl” in which the relationship begins to become much more complicated (which was recently put into use in The Proposal), the sharing one bedroom to keep up appearances of being a couple (also in The Proposal if you are keeping track), and the problematic love triangle leading up to the will she/won’t she proposal (which is also kind of in The Proposal. I might as well just come out and say that you should see that movie instead). All that is left is for you to guess the ending.
Other than mapping out the entire film, this trailer also is able to mask its problems, the most obvious being Anna. In a nutshell, Anna is a pretty one sided character. She is obnoxious, egocentric, often annoying and pretty rude. Basically all things you don’t really want in the lead of a romantic comedy. Even Amy Adams, who I am pretty sure can do no wrong, had trouble creating a sympathetic character out of the role she was given. Let’s just say that her character in the episode “Craving” from the first season of Smallville in which she eats road kill because of a weird kryptonite manipulated metabolism is easier to relate to. Because of this, I didn’t care who she ended up with in the end and wasn’t even sure if she deserved either one of them.
Though Adams did what she could, Matthew Goode’s performance slightly overshadows her character thanks to Declan’s likeability. He is good-looking, charming, and incredibly patient, making it understandable that she would question whether her stable boyfriend is really what she wants. Plus, when all the situation comedy falls flat, it is in Goode’s reactions to Adams’ ridiculousness that the humor is found.
In the end, Leap Year relies too heavily on overdone romantic comedy norms, making it is as forgettable as February 29th during the years that don’t include it.
Final Grade: D