The Rom-Com genre is a notoriously difficult to get right, and this new British comedy shows how hard it is to perfect the winning formula.
I Give It A Year stars Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne as newlyweds Josh and Nat who find out married life isn’t what they thought it would be. Temptation arises as Josh gets closer to his ex-girlfriend Chloe (Anna Farris) and Nat works intimately with her new American client Guy (Simon Baker). Have they married the wrong person?
One of the problems with I Give It A Year is that the main couple are so hard to like. Josh is an immature fool and Nat is an uptight control freak. I’m unsure as to whether I’m meant to be rooting for them to stay together or divorce and get with their other love interests. But while watching the film I realised I didn’t care who ended up with who as they’re all so unlikeable. Only Farris’ Chloe is remotely sympathetic but I wouldn’t wish her to be saddled with Josh any more than Nat.
Likeable characters aren’t always necessary to have a good film (although it does help). But for this film to work it needs to be consistently funny. It does have some laugh out loud moments. Stephan Merchant’s best man speech is still funny despite it being shown so much in the trailers and Minnie Driver is great as Nat’s cynical sister. Farris is also hilarious in the world’s unsexy threesome scene. Unfortunately there is plenty of dry spells where there’s no laughs to be had.
The film tries to do something new with the genre by having you want the main couple to split up. But it never feels quite as subversive as it wants to be. The ending feels laboured and by the climax I just wanted everyone to end up single. Not really a good sign!
Rating 2 ½ out of 5
A good try but not nearly as funny as it needed to be or with enough characters to be care about.