“Leap Year” lacks sizzle but Adams still charms
Actress Amy Adams (“Enchanted,” “Julie & Julia,”) improves every movie she’s in, and she has yet to star in an average movie, neither of which is a coincidence. Of the many mistakes they made, the writers of her latest film were wise (or perhaps just lucky) to cast her in “Leap Year,” a mild-mannered, gentle romantic comedy that rarely stirs the soul or lights a fire.
Adams stars as Anna, a flighty but strong-willed New York real estate “arranger” who’s been dating smarmy, successful cardiologist Jeremy (Adam Scott) for four years. They appear to be in love, and hope to climb the social ladder together, both desperately trying to nab a spot in a high-end condo community.
Anxious for a wedding proposal, Anna follows Jeremy to Ireland, where he’s attending a conference and, as part of an old Irish tradition, Anna is determined to pop the question to him on Feb. 29th. Her travel plans get sidetracked when she ends up in a small rural town days away from Dublin. But fear not, a scruffy, surly pub owner named Declan (Matthew Goode) agrees to give her a lift in exchange for a few Euros. Detours, diversions and delays ensue, giving our handsome couple time to do what we fully expect them to do-fall in love.
Much of your enjoyment of this film will be determined by two factors: One, how enchanted you are with Declan, he of the nice smile, easygoing manner, and that adorable brogue-but not much else going for him. And two, whether you buy that, based on their behavior together, Anna can’t help but fall for him.
And there’s the rub. The script does little to prove Declan’s worth-he’s neither chivalrous nor infectiously prickly enough in a Gerard Butler sort of way. The two have some chemistry together, aided greatly by the beautiful and quaint Emerald Isle environs, but aside from the occasional mishap-mudslides and car wrecks abound-any sizzle remains surface-level only.
The first of many romantic comedies slated for 2010, “Leap Year” can be admired for being more sentimental than sexual in its ambitions. (Heaven knows we could use more rom-coms for Moms and daughters.) But this one is sorely lacking in the smarts department. That’s not an indictment, just a disappointment.