Leap Year (2010)

(Netflix Streaming, October 2015)  The gift of romantic comedies is to make us believe in suspense even when there can’t be.  That, unfortunately, can lead to strange decisions such as stretching out a forgone conclusion several minutes after it should be done.  But that’s only one of Leap Year’s mistakes, as it sets up typical romantic-comedy contrivances to make sure that Amy Adams’s character finds true love rather than the bland sterile life promised by her materialistic fiancé.  In order to do so, we spend most of the film in a version of Ireland heavy in clichés and familiar story beats, at the mercy of a cranky young man (Matthew Goode, dependably competent) who will never-ever-ever fall for the protagonist.  The Irish fetishism gets to be a bit too much at times.  Much of Leap Year feels on autopilot, especially as the initial frictions between the characters predictably give way to romantic attraction.  Both Adams and Goode are sympathetic in their roles, but they are not good enough to forgive the rest of this bland romantic comedy.  Leap Year actually builds such a reservoir of resentment at some point that as it busies itself through an unnecessary conclusion, bored audiences become amenable to the idea that Adams characters should return to America and settle down with her boyfriend, if only it could make the film end sooner.  Leap Year isn’t terrible, but it’s not very good either in a genre where seeing one film means seeing almost all of them.

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