It was love at first sight for marketing exec Nat (Rose Byrne, "Bridesmaids") and aspiring writer Josh (Rafe Spall, "Anonymous") but when they get married, the minister goes into a coughing fit at the pivotal moment and best man Danny (Stephen Merchant, BBC's 'The Office') makes a thoroughly inappropriate wedding toast. Nat's sister Naomi (Minnie Driver, "Conviction") mutters "I Give It a Year."
Writer/director Dan Mazer (TV's 'Da Ali G Show') makes his feature directorial debut with a game cast who he's left to flounder in a mess of a romantic comedy featuring newlyweds who never should have gotten married and the clearly-more-suitable alternatives waiting in the wings. While individual actors can be amusing, especially among supporting players, "I Give It a Year" is thoroughly tone deaf. I wouldn't give it five minutes.
This is the type of film that tries to mine comedy from an obviously unhappily married marriage therapist (Olivia Colman, "Hyde Park on Hudson"), someone the new couple visits all too soon. At work, the ambitious and beautifully turned out Nat thinks she's already determined what a new, American client, Guy (Simon Baker, TV's 'The Mentalist'), will go for only to be played by handsome, wealthy businessman. She's been condescending, so of course he pursues her relentlessly. Meanwhile, schlubby Josh's ex Chloe (Anna Faris, "The Dictator") has returned from charity work abroad and is awkwardly included in group gatherings as she clearly still carries a torch. So it's only natural she'll call Josh into a dressing room clad only in bra and panties while helping him pick out lingerie for his wife. The couple try to focus on their marriage by pushing the two Americans together.
Nat, who removes her wedding ring when meeting with Guy, can barely hide her disdain for her husband, so when she tries to dissuade him from attending her company Christmas bash of course he acts like a boor in front of Guy, who, not realizing he's Nat's husband, makes scathing comments for Nat to weakly defend. There's nothing funny about this - it's simply mean-spirited. Meanwhile Chloe leaves her desultory holiday gathering to partake in a threesome, a physical comedy sketch that feels dropped in from another planet.
The movie's stolen by Driver, whose hateful remarks towards hubby Hugh (Jason Flemyng, "X-Men: First Class") are her way of showing affection (she actually makes this work by film's end). The film's best scene features Nat and Josh visiting a comically morbid estate lawyer. Too bad he didn't pull this movie's life support.
Robin gives "I Give It a Year" a C-.
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