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FILM REVIEW I Give it a Year

06/Mar/2013

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Josh (Rafe Spall) and Nat (Rose Byrne) Josh (Rafe Spall) and Nat (Rose Byrne)

MOVIEGOERS are spoilt for choice around this time of year, with Oscar favourites and indie gems aplenty, that it’s almost impossible to sit down to a flick that isn’t hovering above the three-and-a-half-star mark.

Then comes along Dan Mazer’s London rom-com I Give it a Year – his directorial debut – reminding us that bad scripts do still exist and suddenly the Zero Dark Thirtys, The Masters and Safety Not Guaranteeds feel like relics.

Mazer is the long-time writing partner of Sacha Baron Cohen, helping develop cleverly-crafted and gloriously-offensive alter-egos Ali G and Borat, so it’s surprising how much this comedy – about a mismatched miss-matched married couple – relies on easy gags, usually involving four letter words and genitals.    

It also has a lot of that ‘did-he-really-just-say-that?’ humour that worked a treat in British classics like The Office sitcom and Hugh Grant favourite Four Weddings and a Funeral, but feels badly outdated here.    

And if you’re thinking comedian/actor Steve Merchant of The Office and Extras will come to the rescue, think again.

He plays the formulaic man-child and best friend to protagonist-husband Josh (Rafe Spall), churning out – you guessed it – completely inappropriate commentary at the worst possible times.

It’s also tiresome seeing wispy-thin Byrne turn up her tiny nose in almost every scene. Her character, high-maintenance wife Nat, is so incredibly unlikeable that you can’t wait for Josh to divorce her.

I Give it a Year comes from the producers of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually and it joins them in the contrived British b-grade basket.

I give it a fail.

I Give it a Year
Rating: Two stars
Directed by: Dan Mazer
Starring: Rose Byrne, Steve Merchant, Rafe Spall, Simon Baker, Anna Faris



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