Leap Year (2010) is categorically a bad film. I do not deny this. That said, I have a lot of thoughts about it that confuse me. I came grovelling back to this movie last weekend as it was, in fact, a leap year, so it felt fitting to re-watch a movie that even as a ten-year-old I knew was rubbish. I thought that perhaps it wasn’t as God awful as I remembered it to be. Alas, if anything, it was worse.
That said, I have watched this movie upwards of fifteen times during the course of the past ten years, because for some reason I keep giving it another chance. I hate it, don’t get me wrong, but also a part of me…might just love it? When it comes to critiquing it, I don’t even know where to begin.
The scenes are poorly edited to merge into one another mid action, it just doesn’t make any sense that a team of professionals saw the slide show like transitions that happen so abruptly to be worthy of screening at the cinema!
It relies on tired Irish stereotypes that frequently made me pause the screen and stare at my wall to compose myself before pressing play and continuing the torture. I imagine whoever wrote the script was probably a huge fan of the infamously shambolic Mrs. Brown’s Boys. However, the thing that buries this film six feet under and sticks a cross into the ground above it reading ‘Here lies cinema, died in 2010 upon the release of Leap Year, RIP’ is Matthew Goode’s Irish accent. Surely there was an Irish actor they could have cast. Is it as bad as Tom Cruise’s Irish accent in Far and Away? No, but few things are, so that is hardly a consolation.
However, there are two shining lights in this dark hole of film making. These being Amy Adams and the plot’s ability to shoe-horn every romance novel, fan fiction-esque trope into it as it possibly can.
The final product is beautiful, cheesy chaos that I can’t get enough of. Amy Adams is such an amazing actress you spend the majority of the film asking yourself; did she really sign up to this film? We know of the academy snub you and your multiple Oscar worthy performances have had, so was this your act of vengeance against cinema? Adams’s anxious and uptight character provides a warmth and depth entirely missing from Goode’s and makes the film positively bearable.
Now, the somehow interesting plot. A woman wishes to follow a tradition of proposing to her partner on the 29th of February, and on the journey to getting to Dublin to her fiancé she is swept away on a haphazard journey with a troubled -yet handsome- Irish pub owner. The main takeaway is that I’m pretty sure you can propose to your boyfriend any day you fancy, Amy, it’s the 21st century. But I can’t help but be joyous at the tropes! Brooding heartbroken man traveling with optimistic lighthearted woman: a classic enemies to lovers dynamic. About half way through the ultimate plot progression scenario, I physically paused the film to kiss my fingers like an excited chef when the film pulled out this particular trump card. As Amy and Matthew walk into their B&B room they find…THERE’S ONLY ONE BED! The camera pans to one bed, and we, the audience, are aghast and exclaim, “theres only one bed”! Nothing happens other than that. That’s the high point of the film…and the rest unfolds how you expect.
Still, I keep coming back to this film, every time thinking it’s going to be better than I am expecting, which it never is. That said, I will most likely watch this film twice next week, which I suppose is the beauty of guilty pleasures we both loath and somehow love.
Image: marshillonline via Flickr