Thursday, January 28, 2010

Leap Year

I have been married for 30 years and my wife and I love movies. I especially like horror and psychological thrillers. My wife especially enjoys romantic and comedy ‘chick flicks.’ We go on dates, a trait we still follow through on quite often despite the years together. Those dates more times than not, involve movies. My wife on a rare occasion goes to the movies I like, and sometimes, like in The Book of Eli, she really enjoys them. For me, well, reread that first sentence of the paragraph, ‘I have been married for 30 years and my wife and I both love movies.’

There is a reason we have been married over 30 years, there is give and take, sacrifice, for example, more often than not my wife doesn’t like the movies I like, especially those in the horror genera. I often find myself surprised and enjoying the movies she wants to see, even the ‘chick flicks.’ We recently had an event cancel so decided to go to dinner and a movie. My wife wanted to see the movie Leap Year starring Amy Adams, known largely for her role in Disney’s Enchanted, but more recently Julie and Julia. We decided go and as I often found out, it wasn’t a bad thing.

Leap Year is a simple story that has been told many times before. Anna, (Amy Adams) is a successful assistant in real estate where she gets the property ready to sale by making it look like a home. Her boyfriend, Jeremy is a successful cardiologist. The two are looking at moving in together but Anna has dreams of the two of them getting married. Jeremy has other ideas. Shortly after applying for a high end apartment in New York, Jeremy decides to attend a conference in Ireland. Anna hears from her father (John Lithgow) of the legend of prospective brides proposing to their prospective husbands in Ireland on Leap Year Day. She decides to take a spur of the moment trip to Ireland to propose to Jeremy. On her trip she incurs inclement weather, her flight is redirected and she begins a journey to get to Dublin by Leap Year day. She finds an owner of a pub in a small town who is dangerously close to having his pub repossessed by the bank. In order to obtain the needed funds, he decides to taxi Anna to Belfast. Along the way Anna gets to know Declan (Matthew Goode), more than she anticipated, but she also gets to discover more about herself.

I have to tell you, if you are looking for a movie with technical quality you can do better than Leap Year. There are various mistakes in the film and it seems as if there may have been a rush to complete production. From the editing to the special effects, such as a hail storm that seems to only hit parts of the scenery there are numerous glitches. There are also changing accents that for some may be somewhat of a let down, but I believe few will notice or care about those aspects where Leap Year is lacking.

What the movie does excel on is story. Although this is a story that has been told many times before, I couldn’t help but finding myself liking the characters. Amy Adams is a beautiful actress in her simplicity. She is not only effective as Anna; she is easy to look at in her simplistic beauty. There is something about her mannerisms, especially in the parts where she is in uncomfortable surroundings. In places where she is confused as to her feelings, you find yourself believing her. I also found myself really enjoying the sometimes obnoxious character of Declan, her companion on her journey to Dublin. Matthew Goode does a very good job of mirroring off of Amy Adams in their parts. He is a man that most men, like I who am not the super well built GQ type can appreciate. He can cook a good meal, enjoy a good pint of Guinness and at the same time enjoy a good time with the lads. He has known heartbreak and is ultimately looking for love that he knows is beyond his own credentials. I have to say, the Casting Director for Leap Year did a great job because what these two do have as the story progresses, is the ability to build off of each other and to get the viewer to actually care about the characters, despite all of the technical issues in the film.

I think stories like this and the reminders they provide are among the things I find myself liking about some of the ‘chick flicks’ my wife drags me to The reminder of what and where real love comes from. Sometimes we find ourselves in positions like Anna where we have expectations based on what society wants for us as opposed to what is best for us. Sometimes we need a wake up call and if we are lucky, we discover the things that are really important to us. We can’t underestimate the concept of love and the importance of love in a relationship. Sometimes we can discover that love in places we never considered looking. For some of us, that may be in physical relationships, for others, it could be in spiritual avenues. Nonetheless, unless we search for love or at the very least open up our spirits to receive love, we will never know the ultimate and full joy love can provide. There is a theme here that reminded me of the concept of the ‘One Thing,’ as presented in the movie City Slickers. That is, what is the one thing most important to you? If there was a fire in your home, what would be the first thing you would save if you only had one minute. It is in those moments we discover what is important. Ultimately, those things have the potential to last a life-time and beyond if given the chance.

I’ll admit, I already know my overall rating of this movie will be deceptive, it isn’t a great movie, it isn’t even really a very good movie, but what it is, is a really fun and enjoyable movie. I would watch it again because I appreciated the story, and I appreciated the fun, innocent way it was told. There is little that will offend anyone in this story, and it is a story that makes for a good date night movie. I’ll ignore the technical failures of the movie because sometimes, well, sometimes life is about more than perfection, and in that manner, Leap Year provides a good reminder of some of the things in life that really are important.

On a scale of 1 – 10 while far from perfect, if you take the 29th of February, and take that 2 from the 9 you still have an enjoyable, entertaining 7

The following is the trailer for the movie Leap Year, just click on the video, if the video don't appear, just click on the following link:

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