Leap Year
Later, producers would remind Amy of her contract and she returned to set.

Theatrical Release Date: 01/08/2010
Director: Anand Tucker
Cast: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott

Welcome to 2010, I bet you won’t care if we force feed a generic romantic comedy down your throats. At least, that’s what the filmmakers of “Leap Year” must be thinking (And 2010 isn’t even a leap year!).

America’s newest sweetheart Amy Adams stars in this lukewarm sap fest, predictably falling in love with the Irishman (Matthew Goode) who’s helping her get to Adam Scott – her intended fiancée. The premise involves some hullabaloo about Irish women proposing to their boyfriends on Leap Year, which oh my gosh, happens to be occurring in the film (what are the odds?!). As she encounters cliché mishap after cliché mishap, the inevitable happens and the audience will arrive 110 minutes later at something approaching that warm fuzzy feeling they could have gotten popping in any of the myriad romantic comedies were sitting on their DVD shelves into a home entertainment system.

Now, I don’t necessarily fault Adams or Goode for the film’s ho hum result. They have a nice chemistry, are capable of much more challenging fare and are completely likable. Nor am I going to voice too much disappointment at using John Lithgow as little more than a plot device. However, the blame must go squarely towards director Anand Tucker and screenwriters Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont.

I don’t feel so bad faulting Tucker, as the only other film of his I’ve seen was “Shopgirl” and that was an emo-tastic mess. However, Kaplan and Elfont a wrote perhaps the most accurate (albeit exaggerated) depiction of what high school was like in the 90s with “Can’t Hardly Wait” and I actually found “Josie & The Pussycats” a lot of fun. Maybe something got lost in the translation, as they also directed those films, but the adage about needing two of the major elements in film (director, script, actors) to create a decent film seems to not hold water here and I can only be left with the thought that a rewrite and directorial change were in order.

On the plus side, Ireland is beautiful and many of the film’s outdoor scenes remind me that I should make a pilgrimage sometime in my life (Attention Irish tourism bureau, I’m available when you are). However, some of the shots involving Adams and Goode talking things out at a castle’s ruins were either very poor green screen effects or Tucker managed to make reality look fake. Either way, unimpressive to say the least.

Technically, “Leap Year” does everything a romantic comedy is supposed to do. But therein lies the problem because there’s nothing the average moviegoer hasn’t seen before and neither Adams or Goode are able to evoke anything exciting enough to warrant more than passing interest. A 2.5 out of 5, I could see leaving this on if you’re channel surfing and have a lazy afternoon to waste but there’s no need to plunk down a few Hamiltons and pretend to ignore that moron a few rows ahead who keeps texting and thinks the light of their cell phone isn’t annoying.