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Leap Year (2010)



There are two facts that have prompted me to post this review. The first being that 2012 is a leap year and I thought it perfectly appropriate to share my review on this film, and the second is that Valentine’s Day is on the horizon which means that stores and movie theaters alike will be hawking all sorts of romantic fluff. Leap Year fits that latter description like a glove.

Anna Brady has little trouble accomplishing what she wants. She has the perfect job staging apartments for perspective buyers – especially those who just are a bit reluctant and cannot see the potential in a place long on the market and the perfect boyfriend. After four years together, Anna (Amy Adams) and boyfriend Jeremy (Scott) are finally taking a step towards achieving their dreams by applying to move into one of Boston’s most prestigious apartment complexes. Anna has the promise of another surprise when Jeremy  is spotted leaving a high-end jewelry store where there's only one reason for a man to visit: she is about to become engaged! Only instead of a diamond ring… the gift is a pair diamond earrings.

A cardiologist by profession, Jeremy is called back to the hospital leaving Anna alone with her disappointment… which eventually turn to the long-standing Irish tradition. Every four years on Leap Day, a woman can propose to her boyfriend. Since Jeremy has a convention in Ireland that overlaps the famed day, Anna decides to hop a plane and pop the question. Following delays and exhaustive travels, Anna makes it to Wales, a bit of a jaunt away from her final destination: Dublin. To add insult to injury in order to accomplish her feat of arriving by said day, she must rely upon a local Wales bar owner named Declan (Matthew Goode) in order to make her final destination. Needless to say, their journey is anything but a simple road trip. 


In a nutshell that’s the basic premise of this romantic comedy -- seems vaguely familiar, right? There have been dozens of titles nearly the same as this (all that is ever different are the faces). Even still, such movies never cease to draw in certain audiences (myself included). Many in this genre share a common thread thanks to overused gags that are meant to be funny but rarely end up that – movies that can pull that feat off while still managing to contain variations of their own are unique. It might not be clever but Leap Year is a funny, delightful Irish piece of filming projecting more than just a sweet story.


From the opening, smart-style credits something sparkles about this. Perhaps its most impressive achievement is the gorgeous, green rolling scenery, some of which was shot on location in Ireland. (These sequences alone make for a fantastic backdrop.) Certainly they are lots better than the hustle, bustle of the busy streets of NYC. It was, plainly put: breathtaking. Setting the characters smack dab in the middle of such surroundings makes the movie pretty to look at, while being a nice balance of scenic awe and character-driven narrative, and most particularly I enjoyed seeing Declan and Anna trudge up the hill to the ruins of a castle – regardless of the sappy accompanying story having been oft told.

Amy Adams brings a bit of brilliance to any role she embodies. She just lights up the screen, no matter the character. Anna may be one of her less challenging personifications but because of Amy’s acting, the character is interesting. I “like” Matthew Goode, however, I’m not entirely certain his “rough” appearance was completely called for or at least in some of the areas they used his “unpolished” manners. I’ll concede, they wanted someone completely different than Jeremy… still some mannerisms were just a little too ridiculous. These instances are few and far between, so nothing of any consequence ever really becomes so annoying that we begin instead rooting for Anna to end up with a different Prince Charming (*gasp* perish that thought!). The characters can be identified with on certain levels, even when they seem too perfected or too “Hollywood-ish,” something remains endearing about them. It always helps when there are sparks between the leading man and lady – something that unfolds nicely in Leap Year.

Sometimes, the dialogue in movies spurs conversations about “awkward” moments and sometimes the conversation just doesn’t seem to “fit” the context of scenes. This is true to some extent in Leap Year, but then that is… life. It isn’t always smooth sailing or filled with witty dialogue – it is “messy,” or can be depending on your situation. Moments of absurdity do “intrude” -- such as a wedding where the bride earns a “souvenir” from a shoe (it had been sort of a neat scene in a sentimental way). Later on, another adorable scene happens with Anna’s proposal; it’s so cute (right down to the chicken reference) and the reply just as sweet. The sequence that takes Anne and Declan into the country is likewise, nicely done. This film stands out as a lovely alternative to the normal Hollywood filth and doesn’t require you to pretend you never saw it, because it was just that bad. Instead it reminds us that once in a while something special may come into our lives that may change the happy medium of “comfortable” when its least expected – even if it is only in the loosest sense of the principal.  

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(Leap Year is rated PG because: profanity includes one exclamation of “Jesus!” plus h*ll and sh*t. Declan sees Anna through a sheer shower curtain. There is some mild “violence” when Declan defends Anna and punches some drifters. Anna becomes drunk [and physically sick], Declan is constantly drinking.)
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13 comments:

  1. I ADORE this movie and really need to rewatch it (thanks for the Leap Year reminder!). I think Matthew Goode is just adorable in this film. :)

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  2. I know a girl who really liked it, though I haven't seen it (or any other reviews really). It sounds like a sweet story but with the drinking content I might lean toward a no...
    Thanks for reviewing!
    Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause
    You Are!)

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  3. I love Amy Adams, so I adored her in this film....though my thoughts on Matthew Goode are the same as yours. I wish it had either been someone different or he have a different appearance.

    Fun movie, though, isn't it?

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  4. Ruth - me, too! It is such a sweet story. With it being Leap Year (fun that we get an extra day, right!?), I should finally re-watch it. I saw it in theaters and have seen it a couple more times but not for a while now. =)

    I liked Matthew alright but I think he was better in Chasing Liberty. ;D

    Sierra - this is a really sweet story and for the most part does NOT abuse its PG-rating which is unusual. Amy Adams is such a talented actress which makes her movies always a joy to watch. =)

    If you do decide to see it, I hope you enjoy it. =D

    Ella - I know, right!? This one is adorable.

    Amy is probably my favorite actress in the "business" today. She just sparkles on-screen and has a really infectious on-screen personality. Yeah, Matthew was o.k., but I have much preferred him in other roles. There we go again with another bit of movie trivia we agree on. =D

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  5. I loved this one and so wanted to jump a plane and visit this beautiful place.

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  6. One of my favorites. Need to watch it again.

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  7. Juju - so do I! Ireland, I am sure would be a beautiful place. Jenny B. Jones wrote a teen novel in the same setting and even reading about it made it sound charming - which is a sign of a wonderful author. =)

    Jen - me, too! It is a lovely film that just makes one feel happy. =)

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  8. I love anything to do with Ireland,but I don't know if I"ll watch it since she lives with her boyfriend.
    But it sounds good.

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  9. Ireland does look like a beautiful country to visit, Ella - and if I could pick any place to visit, it would be in the top five. =)

    Although it is "understood" that Anna and Jeremy live together in Leap Year, it isn't an important part of the movie - in fact, most of the time, they are apart.

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  10. LOVE this movie! Thanks for the reminder of how much--going to rent it again soon!

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  11. Glad you are a fan, too, Meghan! =) The movie is one of the sweetest and I, like you, really should see it again. So sweet.

    Happy you stopped in - do so again real soon. =)

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  12. I think I might have to watch his movie again xD I watched it last year with a bit of hesitation (as you mentioned briefly, rom coms seem to follow a set formula these days) but I found myself greatly enjoying it. It's straightforward but it's very sweet and I lovelovelovelove the places where they filmed. Definitely need to check out Ireland one of these days =D

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  13. This is a cute one! I love it a bit more each time I re-watch it! Ireland looks awesome - I'd love to visit it and England... someday. =)

    Thanks bunches for stopping in, Lianne - do so again sometime.

    ReplyDelete

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