Okay, full disclosure: I loathe movies in which seemingly smart, talented women consider snagging a man (a barftastic expression in and of itself) to be the be-all, end-all goal of their existence. It’s an insidious trope that reduces us to a flock of retrograde numbskulls. As an anthropological experiment/exercise in masochism, I dragged my husband and some pals to see Bride Wars on opening night earlier this year and I’m still scarred. (Serves me right, I know, I know.) There was a scene in which a small Tiffany box (i.e. THE COVETED RING!) falls from a closet shelf into Kate Hudson’s (or maybe it was Anne Hathaway’s?) hands. This prompted — I kid you not — the row of women behind me to gasp, then squeal in delight. And no, they were not 15 year-olds. With all due respect to them, I just don’t get it.
So anyway, the trailer for Leap Year (in theaters Jan. 8 2010) would seem to be very much in the mold of gotta-get-the-ring! romantic comedies and therefore, not my bag. Amy Adams stars as an American woman who travels to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend on Feb. 29. On her way to find her guy (Knocked Up‘s Adam Scott), she meets a dashing Irish chap (Watchmen‘s Matthew Goode) and…well, you know. From the fake-out non-proposal-over-romantic-dinner to the pretending-to-be-lovers-until-we-really-fall-in-love bit, the trailer is a veritable playbook of rom-com clichés.
Yet for some bizarre reason, I’m not ready to write this one off just yet. There’s the Amy Adams factor, for one. I’ve never not enjoyed the two-time Oscar nominee on screen. And I’d like to think that she’s smart enough to be discerning about which projects she selects. Then there’s the director, Anand Tucker, who helmed Shopgirl and Hilary and Jackie — two solid films that no one could ever describe as vacuous entertainment. And finally, the script was co-written by Slumdog Millionaire‘s Oscar-winning Simon Beaufoy. Sure, he shares screenwriting credit with Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, the team behind Made of Honor, Surviving Christmas and Josie and the Pussycats. That’s less encouraging. But am I crazy for holding out hope that Leap Year will be better than your average 27 Made of Honor Dresses for the New in Town Ugly Truth about The Proposal of Bride Wars?
I probably am.