Reviewed by: Laura Busch
|Featuring:||Amy Adams (Anna)
“Enchanted,” “Julie & Julia,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Doubt”
Matthew Goode (Declan)
“Watchmen,” “Match Point,” “The Lookout”
John Lithgow (Jack), Adam Scott (Jeremy), Kaitlin Olson (Libby), Dominique McElligott (Bride), Peter O'Meara (Ron), Sarah Hadland (Gaelic Air Rep 2), Michael J. Reynolds (Jerome), Annika Hammerton (Waitress in Bar), Ben Caplan (Realtor), Brian Milligan (Bobbo), Ian McElhinney (Priest), more »
|Producer:||BenderSpink, Octagon Films, Spyglass Entertainment, Su Armstrong, Gary Barber, Chris Bender, Roger Birnbaum, James Flynn, Jonathan Glickman, Cassidy Lange, Morgan O'Sullivan, Rebekah Rudd, J.C. Spink, Erin Stam, Jake Weiner|
“Anna planned to propose to her boyfriend on February 29th. This is not her boyfriend.”
Nearly every girl dreams of the day when the man she loves will get down on one knee and present her with a jewelry box containing a sparkling engagement ring and ask her to marry him. Anna (Amy Adams), a successful young businesswoman, thinks that her dream of that romantic day is about to come true, after her friend sees Anna’s boyfriend, Jeremy (Adam Scott) leaving a jewelry store. At a romantic dinner that evening, Jeremy presents Anna with a small jewelry box, but much to Anna’s dismay the box contains earrings, not the much-anticipated engagement ring. Anna is determined not to let her disappointment derail her dream of true love and marriage, so she decides to follow Jeremy to Dublin and participate in the old Irish Leap Day tradition, which allows women to propose to men on Leap Day. Anna’s journey to Dublin brings many surprises when she gets stranded on the other side of Ireland and must recruit the help of small town Irish resident, Declan (Matthew Goode) to help her get to Dublin. As, Anna and Declan, make their way across the island and face many humorous challenges together, including unpredictable weather and small town Irish charm, the bickering pair begin to understand and appreciate one another.
“Leap Day” is a relatively clean, lighthearted romantic comedy that has many positive elements. The many misfortunes that befall Anna and Declan on their expedition through the Irish countryside on their way to Dublin are humorous and fun to watch. Respect for the institution of marriage is seen several times throughout the film as the traditional values of the residents of small town Ireland are exemplified. For example, an innkeeper and his wife refuse to allow unmarried couples to cohabitate in their lodgings. Although Anna and Declan lie about their marital status in order to receive accommodations for the night, they resist their desire to give in to sexual temptation, and they do not make love. We also see several examples of true love and commitment that exists between several married couples that they meet along the way.
Anna begins her journey a pampered wealthy businesswoman in pursuit of her successful and materialistic boyfriend, but, as her journey with Declan progresses, she begins to be impressed and humbled by Declan and the other residents of rural Ireland’s focus on character, true love, and commitment to the people they love. By the end of the film she can see that her world of material luxuries and her relationship with Jeremy is unfulfilling, and she realizes that she must follow her conscience and do what she knows to be right.
Even though “Leap Year” is cleaner than most mainstream romantic comedies, the amount of sexual innuendo in this film is inappropriate for its PG rating and merits a PG-13. The profanities are generally mild and are not pervasive throughout the film, but include approximately 4 uses of the word h**, 2 uses of the words, a**, jack***, and other milder obscenities such as dam***, poo, and the British profanity, bloody. The Lord’s name is taken in vain approximately 9 times during the film. The most prominent use of the Lord’s name in vain takes place during a scene, where Declan and Anna unexpectedly throw open the doors of a church and run inside the sanctuary in order to escape the inclement weather, but much to their surprise they find themselves in the middle of a wedding ceremony. As they charge into the sanctuary Declan loudly exclaims, “Je*** Chr***!”, and as soon as they realize they are in a church Anna quickly adds, “is Lord.” Anna and Declan are embarrassed by their irreverence and quickly apologize for their actions, and the priest invites them into the church to celebrate the couple’s marriage.
Other sexual situations that are of concern include a scene where Anna’s unclothed silhouette can be seen dancing behind a shower curtain in the bed-and-breakfast bathroom, while Declan is still in the room. Declan’s unclothed silhouette can also be seen behind the shower curtain, though his front side is covered by a towel. In another scene, Declan bursts into Anna’s hotel room, while she is still in her bra and panties, to inform her that he is willing “to do it…”—to take her to Dublin, however Declan appears to be unaware of her state of undress as he delivers the double entendre, “okay, let’s do it, because you’re desperate (to get to Dublin).” A group of three young men offer Anna a ride as she and Declan are walking through the Irish countryside. These three load Anna’s designer suitcase into that back of their van and drive off with it. Later in the film, the three thieves can be seen pulling Anna’s lingerie (bra and panties) out of her suitcase and playing with them by putting them on their heads, but Declan defends Anna’s honor and beats the thieves up. A bit uncomfortable and awkward to watch are several passionate kisses exchanged between several older married couples, who are showing their love for each other during a dinner party.
In addition, there is a moderate amount of drinking that takes place throughout the movie, which may be of concern to some viewers. In one scene, an older intoxicated man, sitting at a bar, jokingly asks Anna if she will marry him. Another drunk man at a pub in Ireland turns to Anna and says, “hello there” in a flirty manner and then proceeds to stand up and fall over. After a rough day, Anna can be seen drinking a bottle of vodka, and she later throws up on Declan’s shoes.
Overall, “Leap Year” is a delightfully funny romantic comedy, however I would caution viewers not to heed this film’s PG rating, as it contains sexual content that is inappropriate for younger audiences and should have received a PG-13. Though this film is not without its problems, Leap Year’s touching conclusion exceeded my expectations and ended on a moral high note.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.