It misses more than it hits and it certainly seems desperate for a young Hugh Grant as its leading man but I Give It A Year is at least a decent effort. Granted, that’s largely due to the miniscule standards of the modern rom-com but it’s definitely not repugnant nor is it without laughs (in fact there are quite a few). Yes, it’s ultimately lackluster but at least it tries.
The film starts with the happy marriage of Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) before documenting its hasty decay. Many of the laughs come from Stephen Merchant in a supporting role as Josh’s mate (and best man). He essentially does the Gervais/Merchant routine so if you enjoy that, you’ll laugh and laugh. Its problems largely lie in the characterisation of Rafe Spall, who goes from being a likable, normal guy to an absolute idiot in the space of a single drunken scene (and he never seems to sober). While you’d understand why his wife might not want to be with him, it’s impossible to understand why anybody else might. The usually fabulous Olivia Colman is also miscast and underused as an obnoxious marriage councillor which is rather frustrating.
The films benefits from a strong start before becoming patchy at best but at least it’s wrapped up quite nicely with a degree of charm still intact. I just about believed in it, I laughed enough times so in my eyes, that’s a success.
Review by David Rank
I Give It A Year is released on 8th February in the UK. Certificate 15 (UK). Running time 97 mins.
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