By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com November 21, 2012 at 11:45AM
Perhaps no genre of film has as low a rate of return as the romantic comedy. Even horror films have the occasional subversive festival gem to prop up fan interest every so often, but serious fans of the rom-com are reduced to getting their jollies from the amiable, but botched likes of "Crazy Stupid Love" and "The Five-Year Engagement," films which are no great shakes, but look like masterpieces compared to stuff like "Something Borrowed" and "New Years Eve," that makes up most of the films of this type. We're a long way from "When Harry Met Sally," or even "Bridget Jones' Diary."
But things are looking up; "Silver Linings Playbook," a smart and genuinely funny entry into the genre, is in theaters now, and now the trailer for one of 2013's early attempts has arrived, and touch wood, it looks pretty good: Yahoo UK have premiered the trailer for "I Give It A Year," the latest from Working Title Films, who've made great hay in the genre over the past twenty years thanks to "Four Weddings & A Funeral," "Notting Hill," "Love Actually" et al, and there's a lot of potential here.
The film, the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated "Borat" writer Dan Mazer, features rising stars Rafe Spall ("Prometheus") and Rose Byrne ("Bridesmaids") as a newlywed British couple tested both by the realities of married life, and by outsiders (Anna Faris and "The Mentalist" star Simon Baker). A deep bench of supporting players also includes Stephen Merchant as Spall's best friend, Minnie Driver and Jason Flemyng as Byrne's sister and brother-in-law, the great Olivia Colman as a marriage counselor, and Jane Asher as Byrne's mum.
It's hardly breaking new ground visually speaking, but the cast are hugely appealing (it's particularly good to see Byrne -- complete with faultless British accent -- getting a proper showcase), and the thing looks genuinely funny; lord knows that's enough of a rarity in the genre. And there's enough here, and in the inherent premise, to suggest that the film might have something significant to say about relationships and marriage too.
That said, we've been burnt too many times to let our guard down completely; "The Five-Year Engagement" looked similarly promising, but ultimately proved somewhat disappointing. But there are enough positive pull-quotes for the film, which has presumably screened for long-lead press already, that there's reason for optimism. We'll find out if that's misplaced when "I Give It A Year" opens in the U.K. on February 8th, 2013, with a U.S. release to follow some time after.