From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Despite the considerable talents and charm of stars Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, it’s hard to imagine Irish eyes — or anyone of discerning taste — smiling much at the blarney that passes for filmmaking in the romantic comedy “Leap Year.”
Perhaps more than any other genre, rom coms lean heavily on clichés and conventions; audiences don’t watch for plot twists and turns, they want to see the boy get the girl. Even so, director Anand Tucker (“Shopgirl”) and writers Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont (“Made of Honor”) should be forced to endure ear-splitting banshee shrieks for cobbling together such a grating morass of witless banter, painful slapstick and silly stereotypes.
Adams stars as Anna, an uptight, snobby but still sweet Bostonian who stages apartments and homes for sale. After four years of dating, her cardiologist beau Jeremy (Adam Scott) still hasn’t put a ring on it, so but instead of talking to him like a grown-up, Anna hatches a plan. Jeremy is set to attend a conference in Dublin, Ireland, so at her flaky father’s (John Lithgow, who is too good to be limited to five minutes of screen time) suggestion, Anna decides to follow and capitalize on the Irish custom of women proposing to their fellas on Feb. 29 of a leap year.
In 2010, it’s hard to imagine why Anna couldn’t pop the question on any given day, but the film is caught in a kind of time warp. When storms detour Anna in a coastal hamlet, she doesn’t seek a wi-fi signal to order a rental car; she can’t even plug in her smartphone without causing a village-wide blackout. Instead, she resorts to hiring enigmatic, cynical yet scruffy-cute pub owner Declan (Goode) to drive her cross country.
On the way to Dublin, Anna klutzes into a variety of humiliating pratfalls, and they encounter an array of stock characters almost as realistic as Lucky the cereal-shilling leprechaun.
But as luck would have it, they also pass through breathtaking scenery and generate enough just chemistry to make viewers cheer the inevitable happy ending.
DVD features: The film is too forgettable to warrant more than the deleted scenes included.