Leap Year


Rating 1½

Directed by Anand Tucker

Written by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont

Starring Amy Adams (Anna Brady), Matthew Goode (Declan), Adam Scott (Jeremy), John Lithgow (Jack Brady), Kaitlin Olson (Libby)

Anna and Jeremy have been dating for four years and have recently applied to rent an exclusive apartment. When Jeremy fails to propose to Anna, as she had expected him to do, she decides to follow him to a medical conference in Dublin to propose to him, in accordance with an old Irish tradition told to her by her father Jack, allowing women to propose marriage on February 29th in a leap year. Anna’s flight from Boston is diverted due to bad weather and lands in Cardiff. She hires a boat to take her across the water to Dublin, but the boat is blown off-course in the stormy seas and lands in Dingle, where she meets cynical and hostile pub owner Declan. In desperate need of money, he agrees to drive her to Dublin, but they are befallen by a series of increasingly farcical mishaps.


‘Leap Year’ is a formulaic rom-com that offers nothing new to the genre and fails in almost everything it sets out to do. We know exactly how the story is going to unfold right from the very start, which is not in itself a problem, but there is no invention here. We might forgive the fact that Cardiff is irritatingly referred to repeatedly as “Cardiff, Wales”, just in case we are not clear about the fact that it is not in Ireland. We might even forgive the complete absence of any attention to geography and overlook the ludicrous suggestion that a boat travelling across the St George’s Channel from Cardiff towards Dublin would land in Dingle. However, it is harder to ignore the horribly stereotypical and patronising depiction of a whimsical Ireland. The Irish accent employed by the English actor Matthew Goode is also all too predictably bad.

Goode has been highly critical of the film, suggesting that it might be a contender for the worst film of 2010. It probably isn’t that bad, but equally there is little to commend it and not even a typically spirited and accomplished performance by Amy Adams can rescue it, although her presence undoubtedly makes it more watchable.

‘Leap Year’ has a 21% rotten rating at Rotten Tomatoes from 112 reviews. Its box office gross to date is a little under $26.5 million, against a production budget of $19 million.

Review posted 7 March 2010


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