Release Date: May 4, 2010
Run Time: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: PG for sensuality and language
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English/Spanish/French, English DVS Dolby Digital 2.0, English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles
Amy Adams is one of the most delightful actresses working in the movies today. Her past work in films such as Junebug, Enchanted, and Doubt has demonstrated a wide range. Matthew Goode is a promising talent, having quickly established a presence through his work in Watchmen, Match Point, and (briefly, but memorably) A Single Man. These two actors have been thrown together in the congenial, but forgettable romantic comedy, Leap Year. They are talented, but it's asking a lot to expect them to make something out of a script that is very thin.
Leap Year is the very definition of "been there, done that." In the space of ten minutes, we learn that Anna (Adams) is an incredibly successful 'stager' of Boston homes and apartments. Can't sell your place in this horrific economy? Let Anna redecorate for your open house and you'll get it sold the same day. She lives with Jeremy (Adam Scott), a successful cardiologist who, based on his age, should be a senior resident, but the movie needs him to be a world-renowned expert, so...he's an expert, OK? Anna has everything, except an engagement ring. A fundamental tenet of the film is that Anna will always be missing something without that rock on her left hand. When Jeremy doesn't deliver the diamond, Anna decides to follow him to Ireland where he is attending a conference. Why? Her dad (John Lithgow, paying the rent) tells her of an old Irish tradition wherein women propose to their men on Leap Year Day, February 29. This is all the first 10 minutes, folks. We gotta get Anna across the pond.
So, off to Ireland. Except, the weather is so bad, the flight is diverted to Wales. Anna makes her way to the north of Ireland and a small pub where she hopes to obtain transportation to Dublin, and Jeremy. It is here that she meets Declan (Goode). The pair strike a bargain. Declan will drive Anna to Dublin. The two hit the road and--SURPRISE!--they hate each other. A series of misadventures leads to several delays and a lengthy trip. By the time they arrive in Dublin, guess who Anna is making goo-goo eyes at?
We have seen this story countless times before since Frank Capra, Clark Gable, and Claudette Colbert took ownership of the genre in It Happened One Night. Each iteration becomes a paler copy of the preceding one. Of course, there are bound to be exceptions to this rule, but I'll be damned if one comes to mind right now. Adams and Goode deserve better than they get from the script by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont. Both the stars and the Irish countryside look beautiful, but that's about it.
Leap Year is presented in a 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The Irish vistas, especially the sunsets over green fields, look great. Images are satisfactorily sharp and artifact-free.
The soundtrack is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital. Most of the dialogue scenes in the picture are limited to exchanges between the stars. There is nothing remarkable about the mix. The music, a combination of pop songs and original score, is present without overwhelming the actors.
The sole extra is a modest group of deleted scenes. There are unlabeled and cannot be accessed individually. You will find most of John Lithgow's performance here. After watching these scenes, I got to wondering if the filmmakers felt bad about what happened to Lithgow's part and decided to add this "bonus feature." The scenes are mostly additional, self-contained deletes, as opposed to extensions of scenes that made the final cut.
The most amazing thing about Leap Year is that it got made at all. I can picture the creative team biting their nails waiting for Amy Adams to decide if she wanted a vacation in Ireland. If she says no, my guess is Lifetime buys the script and figures out a way to make it into a Boston to Florida trek for a couple of familiar TV faces. Kaplan and Elfant have written some arch comedies in the past (A Very Brady Sequel) and director Anand Turner has Shopgirl and Hillary and Jackie on his resume, but Leap Year, unfortunately, is a complete miss and an unexceptional DVD release.
OVERALL RATING (NOT AN AVERAGE): 2/5