' ' Cinema Romantico: Leap Year

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Leap Year

(Note: After a couple unkind reviews from my colleagues I had no intention of seeing this movie except, in a tragic turn of events, it happened to be my in-flight film returning to the mainland and so I thought, hey, why not? At least I'll get a good blog entry out of it.)

One can only imagine the pitch of screenwriters Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont to executive producer Su Armstrong (there were, in fact, 12 producers on this film so we'll just use Su to condense things) went something like this:

Kaplan: "So there's this career oriented woman, Anna, who's had this boyfriend, Jeremy, for four years. And she's really excited because she thinks Jeremy is going to propose to her. Except then he doesn't!"
Elfont: "Twist!"
Kaplan: "And so Anna is, like, super depressed, right? Except then her dad - who could probably be played by some character actor who hasn't got much going on right now-"
Armstrong: "John Lithgow?"
Kaplan: "Perfect! He tells her that once every four years on February 29th it is accepted in Ireland for - get this - a woman to propose to a man!"
Elfont: "Twist!"
Kaplan: "So Anna decides she will propose to Jeremy!"
Armstrong: "Wait. How do we get them to Ireland."
Kaplan: "Uh...."
Elfont: "Jeremy get sents to Dublin for, heck, I don't know....a medical conference. We'll make him a doctor."
Armstrong: "Okay. Keep going."
Kaplan: "So Anna flies to Dublin. Except she doesn't make it to Dublin because of weather and her flight gets diverted to Cardiff."
Elfont: "Twist!"
Kaplan: "So Anna tries to take a boat but the weather is too bad and so the boat can only get her as far as a small town in Ireland called Dingle. So then she goes to this pub-"
Elfont: "Populated by colorful, wacky locals."
Kaplan: "-to hire a taxi to take her to Dublin. And it turns out the bartender at the pub - his name's Declan - doubles as the taxi driver! So he and Anna strike out for Dublin."
Elfont: "But not after Anna has accidentally shorted out the power to the entire town! So that right away they're at each other's throats!"
Kaplan: "So the trip is filled with hijinks, right? For instance, the road is blocked by cows and so Anna tries to shoo the cows off the road-"
Elfont: "And steps in cow poop! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!"
Kaplan: "-and then the car rolls off the road and into the lake so they have to walk-"
Elfont: "And Anna only has high heels."
Kaplan: "-and Anna buys a train ticket except the train won't arrive for two hours so Declan convinces her to take a hike up to this nearby castle which causes them to miss the train."
Elfont: "Twist!"
Kaplan: "And so they stay at this bed and breakfast where to please the owners they have to masquerade as a married couple-"
Elfont: "Drawing them closer."
Kaplan: "-and then the next day a hailstorm sends them scurrying to a nearby church where a wedding is taking place and then at the outdoor reception-"
Armstrong: "Hold it. Outdoor reception? Wasn't it just hailing?"
Elfont: "It was a freak hailstorm."
Kaplan: "Exactly. A freak hailstorm. And at the outdoor reception Declan reveals that he was once engaged but that his fiance ran off with his - get this - best friend."
Elfont: "Twist!"
Kaplan: "And then they get to Dublin by bus and meet Jeremy and Jeremy proposes and Anna says yes and Declan, disappointed, slinks off and then we're back in America and we learn Jeremy's really proposed just because the manager of the condo he was trying to buy called him out for not having proposed-"
Elfont: "Twist!"
Kaplan: "-and this devastates Anna and so she returns to Dingle and tells Declan she left Jeremy and she wants to them to get together but 'not make plans' and then Declan leaves the room and Anna, thinking she's spurned, runs away."
Armstrong: "Hold it a second. Declan just leaves the room? He doesn't say anything?"
Kaplan: "No."
Armstrong: "Why doesn't he say anything?"
Elfont: "Because....we need to get Anna and Declan to a spectacular spot along the Irish coast!"
Kaplan: "Exactly! And once they're there then Declan proposes to Anna!"
Elfont: "And then you have a title card that says 'The End!'"
Armstrong: "Hmmmmm....I don't know. Haven't I seen this movie before? Like, a lot of times before?"
Kaplan: "Did we mention we see Amy Adams as Anna?"
Armstrong: "Deb, Harry, I think you just sold your script."


Castor said...

ahaah hilarious review. You just summed it up perfectly and sadly, that's probably how most rom-com scripts are put together these days...

Wretched Genius said...

What I find really sad is that Kaplan and Elfont were also behind the above-average teen ensemble comedy Can't Hardly Wait and the underrated, kinda genius and endlessly quotable satire-posing-as-a-dumb-remake Josie and the Pussycats. They had such potential, and this is how they squander it.

Nick Prigge said...

They did "Can't Hardly Wait"? I liked that movie. It had some really inventive passages. Man, that just makes "Leap Year" even worse.

My Other Brother Daryl said...

The premise of the movie was that a woman (somehow allowed to leave her kitchen) is ONLY allowed to propose to a man on some once-ever-four-years-in-Ireland quest (because without being married her life is useless).

...So, how good were you thinking it could possibly be?

Simon said...

Review everything like this, guy. It would make a lot of people's lives better.

No pressure or nothing.