“Leap Year” starts 2010 with familiar antics

Romantic comedies are not for everyone. It takes an interesting premise along with a great cast with tangible chemistry to create a movie-going experience that will make an impression on the audience. While “Leap Year does” not live up to other truly great romantic comedies like “P.S. I Love You,” it is full of both sweet and embarrassing moments, the likes of which anyone who has seen a romantic comedy will be familiar with, that make it a decent enough date movie.

By Cody Naylor

Staff Writer

Romantic comedies are not for everyone. It takes an interesting premise along with a great cast with tangible chemistry to create a movie-going experience that will make an impression on the audience. While “Leap Year does” not live up to other truly great romantic comedies like “P.S. I Love You,” it is full of both sweet and embarrassing moments, the likes of which anyone who has seen a romantic comedy will be familiar with, that make it a decent enough date movie.

“Leap Year” tells the story of Anna (Amy Adams), a successful house stager whose strong work ethic has caused her to develop a take charge kind of attitude. When her overworked cardiologist boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) fails to pop the question at a fancy dinner, Anna decides to take matters into her own hands.
Anna learns from her estranged father (John Lithgow) that on February 29, it is traditional for women in love to propose to their men. Anna plans a trip to Dublin, where her boyfriend is conveniently on a business trip, on Leap Day when she will ask him to marry her. A wrench is thrown into the works when bad weather delays her layover flight to Dublin. She decides to hire a pub-owner (Matthew Goode) to drive her to Dublin. On their journey, which only gets more complicated and comical as time goes on, Anna finds herself losing sight of the real reason she came to Ireland in the first place.

The cast fits their roles well and it is refreshing to see Adams play a character that isn’t childishly naïve or overly shy as she has with past roles in “Enchanted,” “Doubt” and “Julie & Julia.” The real star of Leap Year is the country of Ireland, though. As in “P.S. I Love You,” “Leap Year” features breathtaking pans of rolling green hills and charming cobblestone paths and houses that make one long to vacation in the Irish countryside.

The problem with the movie is that audiences have seen it before in almost every other romantic comedy released. Adams’ Anna is the stereotypical, high-strung career woman who is brought down to earth by the man of her dreams. The most comical moments in the film involve Anna being embarrassed in some way which, while still amusing, feels stale in comparison to some of the better slapstick work done by the likes of Sandra Bullock. Goode’s character is meant to bring the conflict into the plot, in which Anna must choose between her current boyfriend and him, but there really is no contest.

With the lack of romantic movies this month, Leap Year is a good option for a couple’s outing, but fans of romantic comedies will be disappointed by the lack of original material. If you are simply curious to see what happens, simply read a review or watch one of the trailers: the story is so simplistic that it is hard to preview the movie in any way without ruining the not-so-surprising ending.