Leap Year

Directed by Anand Tucker

Starring – Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott, John Lithgow

This is an incredibly tough field to cover in a movie.  There are so many bad ones, you find yourself in a rut, waiting for the next Nora Ephron, Nancy Meyers, Judd Apatow or Rob Reiner effort and hoping that it can bring you out of it.  Routinely, romantic comedies find themselves in the list of worst movies of the year and critics have no qualms about bashing them.  To be honest, I leave most of these to my wife, and if they get past her, I will give them a shot.  Disingenuous, I know, but someone has to watch the kids to free up the spouse.  This time, given the fact that Amy Adams was featured and it takes place in the country of my forefathers (Ireland), I decided to give it a shot.

This movie is fraught with negatives.

  • There is a typical “he’s not right for her” plot.
  • Heroine Anna (Adams) goes to great lengths to not only ignore the signs, but to meet her apparent match more than half-way.
  • She is a success in her career, but can drop everything in an instant on a flight of fancy.
  • She meets the man of her dreams, but is too busy fighting with him at varying and improbable points to notice.
  • The man of her dreams (MOHD) is abrasive at first, of course.
  • The MOHD lets her learn the hard way, then saves her from ruffians.
  • The modes of transportation are varied and never successful.
  • Rain storms at inopportune times.
  • Falling in the mud for protagonist and often the MOHD.
  • A night in a hotel or bed and breakfast when, invariably, there is but one bed left.
  • The moment of truth at the proposal.
  • The moment of truth after the proposal.
  • The second dash across the Atlantic to catch up with her MOHD.

Still with these things going against it, the movie works, primarily for the number one reason these types of movies ever work: chemistry.  The camera loves Amy Adams, and by camera, I mean anyone, man or woman who views her through it.  Hers is a delightfully real and fresh face, full of optimism and perseverance both.  There is little beyond her range and she is able to make even the most inane script choices seem like the happen naturally.  Anybody else in this role would have made it unbearable.

Matthew Goode, last seen by me as Ozymandias in the movie The Watchmen, is a natural fit for Adams here.  His cadence is patience and kindness, and he really reacts off of Adams.  He keeps his cards appropriately close to the vest and in doing so, keeps the little amount of interest the script offers in the forefront.

Filmed in Galway, Wicklow and Dublin.  There are some great visuals in the movie, as you really get a feel for the Irish countryside.  There are the requisite shots of the stationary car with the travelling background, but they don’t steal much from the movie.

On a Sunday afternoon, you could do worse than spend your time watching Leap Year.

(*** out of *****)


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