I should have known better, but the fact I do my best to avoid trailers meant I had no idea what I was in for with the god-awful travesty that is Leap Year. All I knew going in was it starred Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, two actors I like and would expect to choose good projects. Or at least decent projects. No such luck.
Adams, in my opinion, was a misfire in Julie and Julia earlier this year, but she was great in Sunshine Cleaning and has knocked it out of the park several times prior. Goode was worthless in 2009’s Watchmen, but was highly impressive in the late season Oscar entry A Single Man. As for director Anand Tucker, I missed And When Did You Last See Your Father? two years ago, but I was able to at least respect his 2005 effort Shopgirl. So what went wrong? How did this trio go from making quality cinema to Adams stepping in cow manure on an Irish country road all while playing one of the most unlikable and asinine lead characters I can remember in romantic-comedy history?
Leap Year is a different breed of stupid as it follows all the stereotypical plot points of a girl traveling with the man of her dreams, but doesn’t realize it until the last second. However, this one piles on the fact Adams is playing a character so reprehensible we would rather see her jump off a cliff than ever reach her goal. What is that goal you wonder? Actually, I know you probably don’t care, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
Praying for her current boyfriend of four years (an equally abominable character played by Adam Scott) to ask her to marry him, Anna (Adams) is miffed when his most recent gift only ends up being several thousand dollars worth of diamond earrings. So, when he heads off to Dublin on a business trip that just so happens to coincide with Leap Day, Adams decides to take action.
Apparently there is an Irish tradition that says on February 29 a woman can ask her man to marry her rather than waiting for her boyfriend to do it when he’s ready. So Anna heads over to Ireland to propose to her man. Unfortunately her plane is diverted to the wrong side of the island where she enlists the down-on-his-luck (aren’t they always?) pub owner Declan (Matthew Goode) to taxi her to Dublin and on the way insults him as many ways as she can possibly come up with.
Strangely enough he falls in love with her, but I have to assume that’s only because Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont wrote it in their awful script. My guess would be any self-respecting human being on this planet would have left Anna sitting in that pile of cow dung she stepped in before ever going another mile at her side.
To say I disliked this movie would be an understatement and to say the first weekend of 2010 has delivered a contender for the worst movie of the year would be dead on. Romantic comedies have gotten progressively worse recently, but this one takes it to new heights. Screenwriters are now trying to convince audiences to cheer for the armpit of society as they disparage others on their way to personal happiness. What fun!