I Give it a Year
There is nothing more depressing than to enter the New Year and head into Valentine’s Day with a film about a newly married couple who are struggling to make it through their first year of marriage – and there is nothing the British like doing more than making potentially depressing content into a comedy.
I Give it a Year (directed by Dan Mazer, who wrote Borat and Bruno) is a star-packed film about a young couple who, after seven months of marriage, have already taken to counselling. Seemingly doomed from the start, the incompatible, young, good-looking couple just do not work as husband and wife, and bets are placed by their friends whether they can survive even a year together.
Starring Rose Byrne (Insidious, Bridesmaids) as career driven Nat, and Rafe Spall (Life of Pi, Prometheus) as wannabe-writer Josh, I Give it a Year follows the couple as their relationship and respect for one another slowly disintegrates. The success of the film lies solely in the humour which, although crass at times (margining on cringe worthy), is on the whole, side-splittingly hilarious!
Stephen Merchant (best known for his role in Ricky Gervais’ Extras) is brilliant as Josh’s best man, and although verging on the ridiculous at times, he really does bring some extraordinary moments to the film. Minnie Driver is also worthy of note with her role as Nat’s sister: both cynical and dry, she pulls off all her lines with such a deadpan expression that she too secures some hearty laughter.
I Give it a Year does allow some failsafe ingredients to bring the majority of laughs, but there are one or two beauties which break the mould. There is also that underlying element of a rather depressing storyline (no one likes to see two people fall out of love after such a short period of time together), but it is concealed so well behind both a mask of comedy and rather predictable narrative choices.
Ultimately, with great performances from Anna Farris (Scary Movie 4, House Bunny) as Josh’s charitable, American ex, Jason Flemyng (Benjamin Button, Snatch) as the long-suffering husband of Minnie Driver’s character and Olivia Colman as the ferocious relationship councillor, I Give it a Year has really pulled out all the stops to make this a comedy to brighten up these dull, winter days.
Released nationwide on 8th February.
Watch the trailer for I Give it a Year here: