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January 08, 2010
Review - " Leap Year "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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know, it’s Ireland. She is stuck in a small town with only two days to get to Dublin in order to meet her deadline and is forced
to depend on Declan, a pub owner played by Matthew Goode (Imagine Me and You), to drive her from Dingle to Dublin - and
oh, they have car trouble, too. Wackiness ensues. But from the fertile bed of shared adversity romance does often bloom.

This is all a nice set up for a chick flick and The targeted female demographic could very well take Universal up on its offer of
some welcome winter escapism. The romantic-comedy "Leap Year" gets by on the charms of its stars and the beauty of its
Irish scenery - that rousing Irish backdrop is undeniably enticing.

I’m going to be completely honest, I adore Amy Adams. I think she is one of the most impressive actresses out there these
days, and time after time she has not let me down. Not to mention the critical acclaim she receives for almost every
performance she does. Adams gamely battles the wind-whipped elements as a self-involved, fish-out-of-water character
similar to the one played last year by Renée Zellweger in the short-lived New in Town. Adams' winning vulnerability rises to
the occasion, and Goode lives up to his name as her agreeably roguish chaperone.  With head turning performances in both
Watchmen and the prestige picture A Single Man, proving he might be ready to step into the spotlight as a leading man. His
character had a genuine feel. He is funny, but never off putting. His Declan is a perfect foil for Adams' character and had
some genuinely funny moments. Amy Adams and Matthew Goode aren't particularly convincing during the loathing portion of
their on-screen couple's love-hate relationship, but when the ice thaws, they bring a tender depth of feeling to the oh-so-
ordinary material.

Some of the moments to look for if you are dragged to see this by your girlfriend/wife are the following. There is a
conversation between Declan and Anna about what she would grab if her apartment was on fire and she only had sixty
seconds to save something. She never answers him but it is all a great setup for a moment in the final minutes of the film
when she determines to use this question to test her views and values. You may question why they would hire John Lithgow
to play a character that only appears in one scene and for less than five minutes of the film’s running time. He delivers a
performance here that helps set up why Anna is the way she is and it works better than if she had just told the story of her
dad later in the film. Finally, her occupation is important because Declan calls her a con-artist, which she denies, but by the
end of the film the shoe is on the other foot.

Of course, it’s all too easy to gang up on romantic
comedies, critically speaking, when in fact there is always
a built-in audience for these movies (namely me!), and if
the two leads are appealing and have any sort of
chemistry together then sitting through the thing need
not be unenjoyable.

There's a watchable movie here as (Irish) luck would
have it. The film, of course, is utterly predictable,
cinematic comfort food. But Ireland, where 95 percent
of the movie was shot, is remarkably beautiful to gaze
upon. And Adams has really nice legs, too, something
not lost on either the film’s director or costume designer.
Watching “Leap Year,” I couldn’t help but think that a trip
to Ireland might be a good thing some day, preferably
in the company of Amy Adams.
Leap Year
Directed by: Anand Tucker
Starring: Amy Adams, matthew Goode, Adam Scott, John Lithgow

OK - let's be right up front about this - This movie is not made for men.

Leap Year tells the story of a successful working woman played by Amy
Adams. Her job is to take upper class apartments and 'stage' them before the
realtor starts shopping them. She is very good at her job and once the
apartment is sold, she returns and removes all the furnishings. Her opinion is
she is selling people a dream. She is also a dominating woman who believes
that her strong will is enough to get her anything she wants. When her
boyfriend fails to propose to her on the night she believes it is coming, she
becomes depressed. Her absentee father (John Lithgow) pops back into her
life after a lengthy absence and recounts how her grandmother proposed
to her grandfather on Feb. 29 in a Leap Year, an old Irish tradition. The
screenwriters provide Adams' Boston apartment stager Anna with a workable
motive to fly to Dublin with the intention of popping the question to her
slow-on-the-uptake cardiologist boyfriend (Adam Scott). But once on the
Emerald Isle, she immediately gets off on the wrong foot with Goode's pub
proprietor. The script is content to let the unpredictable Irish climate do most
of the heavy lifting where comedic opportunities are concerned.

Upon Anna’s arrival in the emerald isle, nothing goes right, transportation-wise.
Flights are canceled because of the weather, sending her to Wales, and then
ferries don’t run, and there are also problems with trains and buses. But, you