Rated PG for sensuality and language, 97 minutes
Amy Adams the real reason to see the predictable but pleasant "Leap Year"
Romantic comedies seem to come a dime a dozen, as we have a brand new one exactly a week into the new year. On top of that, given that January isn't a strong month for films coming off the holiday rush, it doesn't bode well for the sweet new rom com "Leap Year." However, the lush Irish scenery and the lovely Amy Adams make up for the predictable contrivances of the story and all-too-easy set up. You know what will happen nearly from the first frame, but our engaging, red-headed star makes the "Leap Year" a pleasant post-holiday trip.
Adams is an upscale, uptight Bostonian professional who's been seeing her handsome doctor boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) for a few years now. Tired of waiting on him to make the move, she plans an elaborate scheme and follows Jeremy to Dublin, Ireland to propose to him on February 29 in an old romantic Irish tradition. However, she has a little trouble getting to Dublin in a slight weather-imposed detour. Along the way she meets the young owner of an Irish pub named Declan (Matthew Goode), who promises to get her to Dublin to her man, though luck seems to have other plans for both of them by the end of the trip.
"Leap Year" is an enjoyable trip that's only worth going on only because of the charming, vastly appealing Adams, who carries the movie on her shoulders. Not much of it's believable or that interesting, and the whole set up - a leisurely road trip to Dublin - only gives way to developing the relationship between Declan and Anna. The handsome, somewhat ruggedly lithe Goode have decent chemistry that director Anand Tucker ("Shopgirl") doesn't explore near enough.
Tucker is wise enough to use the lush, green Irish scenery in "Leap Year," which is far more beautiful than the well-worn, tired script from the "Made of Honor" team Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont. Character actor Scott barely makes an impression as Anna's snobby boyfriend, while John Lithgow receives near top-billing for what is a very brief cameo as Anna's unreliable father, whose scenes were likely left on the cutting room floor.
Adams steps in cow dung. Stumbles here and there. Falls down a mountain, rolls in some mud. Throws up on Goode. All in a day's work. You've seen this before a million times before and while the studio may not have much faith in the movie itself by opening it in January (which unfortunately happened to Renee Zellweger a year ago), it should have faith in the pretty Adams, who with such striking features could make this a modest hit on her looks alone. "Leap Year's" premise doesn't even come to fruition, really, but then it's still a happy ending that will please rom com purists (is there such a thing?) clamoring for a some happy tears.
Guys, she did duty with "Avatar" over the holidays. It's a new year, now back to the usual movie schedule. Let her pick the entertaining "Leap Year" and you might enjoy yourself more than you think, and that Amy Adams chick is worth checking out too.