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I Give It a Year: And I give it a thumbs down for good measure

Rose Byrne and Simon Baker in I Give It a Year.

Giles Keyte

1.5 out of 4 stars

Title
I Give It a Year
Written by
Dan Mazer
Directed by
Dan Mazer
Starring
Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall
Classification
14A
Country
U.K.
Language
English
Year
2013

When Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) hook up and super-speedily get hitched, nobody thinks the match has a chance. After all, she's a perfectionist with high heels and higher ambitions, and he's a doofus pretending to be a writer.

Every occasion they spend together seems to culminate in displays of cringing awkwardness, usually in the presence of mortified friends and loved ones. But they get married anyway, and this movie is about what happens when the candles burn out before the cake is even baked.

Directed by Sacha Baron Cohen's frequent collaborator Dan Mazer, I Give It a Year seems unsure what to do with itself beyond pulling this fundamental switcheroo on the basic romcom, happily-ever-after formula.

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Where it might have been a dark deconstruction of sham romantic delusions and clichés – a funny Blue Valentine maybe, or a wackier Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – it's instead conventional to the marrow, right down to the presence of wisecracking buddy characters, disapproving parental units, clumsy sexual shenanigans and a visual style that suggests a fire sale on overhead lighting equipment.

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Geoff More

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