By Dirk Sonniksen | January 8, 2010
Director: Anand Tucker
Writer(s): Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont
Starring: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Kaitlin Olson, Adam Scott
Anna is pining for the attention of her well-to-do, snooty cardiologist boyfriend, but he’s just too busy being important to notice his sexy girlfriend and realize what she really wants…an engagement ring. Poor Anna. What’s a girl to do, right? Well, I won’t spoil this one for you, but her answer is completely irrational, requires a road trip, stereotypical encounters with foreigners, lots of sad, tired, slapstick humor, and a ridiculously predictable ending.
Leap Year, starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, fails on just about every level. There was some hope that the competent skills of the film’s stars would save this train wreck, but alas, even their valiant efforts fail to make this romantic comedy, well, romantic or funny. While there is a bit of magnetism between Anna (Amy Adams) and the dishy young Declan (Matthew Goode), a poor script makes any connection between the two completely implausible. Couple that with a Three Stooges approach to humor that falls flat (Look out! Don’t step in the cow poop!), and you’ve got some very forgettable moments.
In addition to the above-mentioned issues, Leap Year continues to bleed out on a number of others. There are moments when the cinematography borders on acceptable. Pastoral shots of Ireland and winding country roads breathe a bit of temporary life into this bomb. Cut to a shot of Anna and Declan in a car traversing said country roads, the car too obviously super-imposed on the country lane backdrop. One begins to wonder if this a purposeful homage to the road films of the 1950s, or if Tucker spent the majority of his budget flying the cast and crew to Ireland for filming. Add to that some extremely poor editing, and Leap Year is almost too much to bear.
Director Anand Tucker is not new to this genre and saw some success behind the camera of Shopgirl (2005). Fortunately for Tucker, he had Steve Martin as a writer in 2005; sadly, he had no such luck for Leap Year. What he did have was a good cast that was saddled with a really bad project. Indeed, one wonders if Amy Adams actually read the script for Leap Year before accepting the part. For Matthew Goode, it was a step forward into the realm of the leading man, but a bad choice overall. For the sake of both of their careers, let us hope that Adams and Goode make this their last lame romantic comedy and move on to more promising endeavors.