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treat in British classics like The Office sitcom and Hugh Grant favourite Four Weddings and a Funeral, but feels badly outdated here.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