So this Monday was a leap day. That one day a year where people push that outdated and sexist idea that a woman can only propose on the 29th Februrary. It’s an ancient tradition for all those females desperate to get married but too embarrassed to get down on one knee. They have one legitimate chance every four years to propose to their man. What a wild fucking idea. I don’t want to get all ranty in this post but it’s a fucking joke. All of Monday my male colleagues made continuous jokes about the idea of women finally getting the chance to lock down their man. It was embarrassing. Why are we keeping alive a tradition that perpetuates the idea that it is a man who is in control of a woman’s future? That it’s shameful for a woman to propose unless it’s on a date that comes around as frequently as the fucking Olympics. If you want to get married but you’re not getting a proposal then fucking do it. Who gives a shit if it was normally the man’s role? So was being a doctor back in the day. Things change.
Anyway, as you can see I’m a bit sensitive about the whole thing so the idea of a film based on this outdated ritual wasn’t high on my list of films I need to watch. Still, I needed a topic for this week and I do adore Matthew Goode… especially when he’s pretending to be Irish. So I sucked it up and watched Leap Year for the first time. Now, there’s a lot of shit I’d watch if it starred Matthew Goode, and I probably have watched a lot, but it was tough with Leap Year. It’s possibly one of the most cliched romantic-comedy around. Even if it believes it’s subverting the genre by invoking an ancient tradition.
Amy Adams plays Anna, a controlling career woman who has her five year plan in place and will do anything to get what she wants. She’s got the perfect job, will soon have the perfect apartment, and has the dreamy doctor boyfriend, Jeremy (Adam Scott). Everything seems ideal, except for the fact that Jeremy won’t propose. After he fails to pop the question yet again, Anna decides it’s time to do something dramatic. That something is follow him to Dublin and propose on February 29th. If you feel this is an extreme reaction then we’re already on the same wavelength. Had she just been honest with him she could have saved herself the price of a plane ticket.
Still, this is a romantic-comedy and honesty fucks up the chance to mess with out main character. Unsurprisingly Anna doesn’t manage to get to Dublin without a few issues. She finds herself stranded in Cardiff, on a fishing boat in a storm and finally in a distant Irish village in the middle of nowhere. It is there, though, that she meets ruggedly handsome and permanently annoyed pup owner Decalan (Matthew Goode). As he’s the face that joins Adams on the poster, we all know where the plot is going but there are a few things we have to check off first.
Declan promises to drive Anna to Dublin in exchange for some much needed cash. Again, it’s not that simple, They experience a kine of cows in the road, a missed train, the need to pretend to be a married couple and share a bed, and crash a wedding. It’s standard rom-com fair that is just putting off the inevitable for a little longer. By the time the pair get to Dublin it’s painfully obvious to everyone what will happen; well everyone except poor Jeremy.
There is so much to hate about Leap Year that I don’t have time to write it all down. Firstly, the representation of the Irish is almost reaching hate crime levels. It’s such a fucking stereotypical view of rural Irish folks that I’m surprised this film is still allowed to be shown. Secondly, Matthew Goode’s Irish accent is, unfortunately, pretty dodgy. I want to love Irish Goode but it’s hard. Thirdly, there is the overuse of bad green screen. It’s not big or clever. It’s just painfully obvious and distracting. Urgh, enough of this,
To sum things up, Leap Year is boring, recycled, unfunny and offensive romantic-comedy. The only thing that kept me watching until the end? Amy Adams and Matthew Goode are both so fucking adorable and charismatic that I was actually rooting for them. Despite the fact I knew they were destined to be together. I didn’t want it to happen but I actually cared about these stupid fuckers. I wanted to watch their journey even though I knew it off-by-heart. If Leap Year tells us anything it’s that Amy Adams is such an amazing actress that she can make any old garbage seem better than it is. That women deserves an Oscar for that alone. Neither actor overplays their part and have decent chemistry. Had anyone else been cast in the role I doubt this damp squib would have registered with anyone.