I Give It A Year ((BETTER))
Ambitious ad exec Nat and struggling writer Josh fall in love at first sight at a party. After seven months together they decide to marry. The film highlights their struggles during their first year of marriage, switching back and forth from flashbacks of the year to a marriage-guidance counsellor's office. Their wedding goes as planned despite many friends' commenting that the marriage will not last, an embarrassing best man's speech, and a coughing priest.
I Give It A Year
Later, Josh and Nat throw a dinner party to use their wedding gifts. Some of their differences are highlighted when talking about the honeymoon in Morocco; Nat didn't enjoy the leather museum whereas Josh remembers it as interesting. When the topic changes to Chloe, Josh's former flame, Nat discovers they never officially broke up when she went to Africa for four years. In the kitchen Chloe apologises to Nat for not realising she didn't know. The women talk about the constrictions of marriage. Nat's sister Naomi has issues with her own husband's annoying habits. Josh's best man Danny asks Chloe out but is rebuffed.
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 51%, with an average rating of 5.50/10, based on 82 reviews. The website's consensus for the film reads, "It's nowhere near as inventive as its reverse rom-com premise might suggest, but I Give It a Year is disarmingly frank -- and often quite funny." On Metacritic, the film has score of 50% based on reviews from 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The opening sequence shows a montage of a whirlwind relationship between Josh (Rafe Spall) and Nat (Rose Byrne). They marry seven months after their first meeting. During the wedding ceremony, the priest has a coughing fit before he can say the words "husband and wife," and Minnie Driver, who gives a deliciously bitter performance as Naomi, Nat's sister, murmurs to her husband, "I give it a year."
Josh is a novelist. He can't seem to finish his next book and spends his days lying around playing video games. Nat works as an executive in an ad agency, and is competent and driven. There is a class critique in the film. Nat says to someone that she was accustomed to driving Ferraris, and Josh represents a "Volvo," and, rather despicably, "I just needed to be behind the wheel of a Volvo for a while." There is no honeymoon period. Instantly upon getting married, Nat seethes with resentment about toilet seats being left up and who takes out the trash. Before Nat and Josh reach their one-year anniversary, they are in couples counseling, a device used to frame the storyline. As artificial as the device is, Olivia Colman is hysterical as the embittered man-hating couples counselor.
For the audience, this removes the stakes, but leaves us wondering how Mazer can possibly find a happy ending in divorce. No one is really a fan of divorce. We don't have divorce parties (although at the 50% divorce rate, it could be a burgeoning industry) and Hallmark hasn't gotten around to making "Happy Divorce!" cards. Although the marriage in I Give It a Year has been given the a ridiculously easiest out (their true loves are standing by the exit), Mazer makes sure no one is the villain. Josh does end up more on the bumbling and embarrassing side while Nat is slightly duplicitous and openly hostile, but she's also being wooed by the gorgeous Simon Baker. At one point, even Josh says to Guy, "I could eat you up with a spoon."
The film is packed with great one-liners, but never gets bogged down in going for one more joke at the expense of moving the story forward. Mazer knows how to best utilize the comic talents of his cast without letting them slow down the plot (yes, I am taking jabs Judd Apatow movies). Stephen Merchant, who plays Josh's friend Dan, could riff through the entire movie saying horribly offensive and inappropriate things, but Mazer keeps the role small, which makes Merchant's performance even more valuable. The same goes for Colman, who continues to amaze me in every movie she does. I knew she could do broad comedy because of Hot Fuzz, but she's even better here (this isn't to mention her scene-stealing performance in Hyde Park on Hudson and her devastating dramatic work in Tyrannosaur). All four leads are terrific (although Baker is the odd-man out since the script doesn't give him any comic material), and Mazer makes sure the movie is about their story rather than simply milking side characters and set-ups until they're exhausted.
Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) meet cute, quickly fall hard for each other, and, seven months later, head for the altar. "I give it a year," says a good friend, and it's not long before the love-addled couple is bickering over the smallest of irritations and wondering why they ever thought a wedding was a good idea. It doesn't help that Nat is being pursued by a charming client (Simon Baker), while Josh is starting to spend time with his ex-girlfriend (Anna Faris). The couple sets up a simple goal: make it to their first anniversary. But it's unclear whether they'll actually get that far -- or, if they do, what will happen after that.
The 33-year-old actress shivered as she braved icy temperatures at the premiere of I Give It A Year in London's Leicester Square, in an elegant Balenciaga gown, and gasped: "I'm running on adrenaline."
VIDEO and AUDIOI Give It a Year sports nice photography uncommon for the genre, which makes the Blu-ray's strong 2.40:1 transfer easy to appreciate. The cinematic digital picture is vibrant and sharp throughout. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio is suitable as well, posing no challenges for the straightforward mix. English SDH and Spanish subtitles are kindly included. BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGNThe all-HD extras begin with a blooper reel (7:17) that expectedly leans heavily on Stephen Merchant and features plenty of take-ruining laughs."Outtakes: The Doves" (3:07) shows us the laughs and screams that flowed from a terrified Rose Byrne filming a scene with Simon Baker and a couple of live doves.Seven deleted/extended scenes run 15 minutes and 22 seconds. They include an awkward consummation attempt, a struggle for shelf space ten days into the wedding, Chloe discovering her date is gay and fending off her co-worker's workplace affection, Hugh (Jason Flemyng) giving some advice from experience, Josh calling out a joke thief, and a strained Ethiopian restaurant date between Chloe and Guy. Two making-of shorts designed to promote the UK theatrical release -- "Relationships & Marriages" (3:03) and "The Characters" (3:29) -- serve up comments from writer/director Dan Mazer and the cast, clips, and critic quotes."Cast and Crew Interviews" (27:55) give us extended looks at the sessions sampled in the shorts, gathering thoughts from Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, Rafe Spall, Simon Baker, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, Stephen Merchant, Dan Mazer and producer Kris Thykier. Longer "International Interviews" (30:40), conducted in front of a poster for the film, are provided by Byrne, Spall, Baker and Mazer. In both, remarks on characters, comedy, their careers and collaborators are nothing groundbreaking, but give us some insight into production and everyone's involvement.Finally, "Also from Magnolia Home Entertainment" repeats what plays at disc insertion: trailers for Drinking Buddies, Prince Avalanche, Syrup, and Touchy Feely, plus a promo for AXS TV. I Give It a Year's own trailer is perplexingly absent.Though one of the increasingly rare discs to include a BD-Live section these days, all this one currently says is to "Check Back for More Updates"The menu plays clips in between appearances made by the cover art, while a bluesy rendering of "Canon in D" plays. The disc gives you the chance to resume unfinished playback and also allows you to place bookmarks on the film.No inserts, reverse side artwork, or slipcover enlivens the plain blue keepcase, whose disc art reproduces the cover, which itself has only served to drop Jason Flemyng from the North American one-sheet. CLOSING THOUGHTSThe UK's I Give It a Year is comparable to American romantic comedies, but a bit edgier, more caustic, and less predictable than most. None of that makes it funnier than or fundamentally different from lesser entries in this typically uncreative genre. Still, this is a nicely shot and relatively painless outing. Magnolia's Blu-ray sports fine picture and sound plus high quantity and decent quality bonus features.Buy I Give It a Year from Amazon.com: Blu-ray / DVD / Instant Video
Their wedding is a dream come true, but family, friends and even the minister who marries them aren't convinced that they can last. Josh's ex-girlfriend, Chloe (Anna Faris), and Nat's handsome American client Guy (Simon Baker), could offer attractive alternatives. With their first anniversary approaching, neither wants to be the first to give up, but will they make it?
American audiences hungry for more British comedy and more of Bridesmaids actress Rose Byrne, are in for a treat: I Give It a Year, which stars Byrne and Rafe Spall (One Day), has secured a U.S. distributor. Magnolia Pictures will release the film in the U.S. later this year.
Ever since they met at a party, ambitious Nat and novelist Josh have been incredibly happy, despite their differences. However, on their wedding day, the forecasts are not promising: none of the guests believe in them. As such, as time passes by, Nat and Josh find that perhaps their differences are indeed too much.This film features examples of: Amicable Exes: Nat and Josh end up being this after they realize that they aren't made for each other. He even tells her he thinks she is the perfect wife, just not for him.
Dinner and a Show: Nat and Josh throw a dinner party to use their wedding gifts, in which some of their differences are highlighted when talking about their honeymoon in Morocco; Nat didn't enjoy the leather museum whereas Josh remembers it as interesting. Then the topic changes to Chloe, Josh's former flame, where Nat discovers they never officially broke up when she went to Africa for four years. In the kitchen Chloe, who is present there, apologises to Nat for not realising she didn't know. Nat's sister Naomia also reveals to have issues with her own husband's annoying habits.
Fourth-Date Marriage: Downplayed; Nat and Josh marry after seven months of dating, but is nonetheless among the reasons why many of their friends think the marriage will not last.
Mondegreen Gag: The main couple Nat and Josh argue over misheard song lyrics. Nat thinks the lyrics from "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" go "I travelled the world in generic jeans" instead of "I travelled the world and the seven seas", much to Josh's chagrin. She also thinks the line from "We Built This City" goes "we built this city on the wrong damn road". Josh also brings up the lyrics from "Tiny Dancer", which Nat thinks goes "hold me close and tie me down sir".
Pair the Spares: Each of the main couple, Nat and Josh, has a rival love interest, Guy and Chloe, respectively. The rivals date for a while, but the trope is subverted in the end, Nat and Josh finish up leaving each other for the rival suitors Guy and Chloe.
Race for Your Love: Josh ends up doing this at the end, catching Guy and Chloe at a railway station waiting to go to Paris, to profess his love for Chloe after splitting up with Nat. This is shortly followed by Nat appearing there to do the same with Guy.
Romantic False Lead: Guy and Chloe appear to be this, as Nat and Josh express attraction to them respectively, but turn out to be a subverted example, as the film ends with Nat and Josh actually breaking up to be with them.
Starter Marriage: Nat and Josh's friends clearly think that this is the case.
Sucks at Dancing: At a party, Josh dances embarrassingly. This (alongside other antics) annoys and embarrasses Nat so much that she heads home without him.
Worst Wedding Ever: While Nat and Josh's wedding actually goes as planned, it is nonetheless marred by many of their friends commenting that the marriage will not last, an embarrassing best man's speech, and a coughing priest.