EVERY now and then it is great to come across a film that is quirky and unconventional.
It’s the sort of film that breaks away from the Hollywood norms and gives the viewer something unique.
Sadly for I Give It A Year, it tries too hard to be the unconventional film that people will adore.
The film opens with the whirlwind wedding of Josh and Nat and follows their first year of marriage.
I Give It A Year features a talented cast that seems randomly thrown together.
It reminded me of the old sport adage: “A champion team will always beat a team of champions.”
While this cast is a group of champions, the film could have been better delivered by a group of actors and actresses who seem more comfortable on screen together.
Australia’s Rose Byrne and Brit Rafe Spall take the leads as newlyweds Nat and Josh. From the outset, the couple gets off to a rocky start as they adjust to married life.
American Anna Faris plays Josh’s close friend Chloe and Simon Baker steps in as rich businessman Guy.
Comedian and writer Stephen Merchant has the most awkward role as Josh’s best man, who is cursed with highly inappropriate verbal diarrhoea.
It was a character that reminded me of David Brent, Ricky Gervais’ cringe-worthy boss from The Office.
Also making small but entertaining appearances are Minnie Driver, Olivia Colman, Jason Fleming and Jane Asher.
But while I Give It A Year got a few laughs out of me, the majority of the humour comes from inappropriate and very embarrassing situations that could never happen in the real world.
To understand the sort of humour audiences can expect from the film, you should look to the director.
Dan Mazer is as at the directorial helm of just his third project and first feature film.
Mazer directed episodes Da Ali G Show and wrote Sacha Baron Cohen films Borat and Bruno. Mazer was also responsible for the screenplay for I Give It A Year. That said, part of the cinema audience in the same session as me laughed loudly for a lot of the film.
It is clear the awkward humour would be popular with some people but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Even if there were a few gags in the background for the keen-eyed observers.
I thought I was going to get a sort of comedy version of Closer (starring Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen and Julia Roberts) and in parts that’s what I got as the four main characters started to uncover their true feelings.
But Mazer and his team worked so hard to make the comedy daring and unconventional that it threw the balance off what could have been a traditionally charming and impressive British film.
The film was a let down. It gets two stars and I give it a year until it’s in the bargain box at the front of the video store.
The Verdict: 2 stars.
- I Give it a Year (M) is now showing at Bendigo Cinemas.