I never used to be into rom-coms – always more The Avengers than The Notebook. But I’ve always liked a good Brit flick – before I liked rom-coms, Love Actually always fell into this category and so was therefore Allowed. And I’d heard that I Give It A Year wasn’t too girly to drag the boyf to on his weekend back from Holland! I may like rom-coms now, but I’m not That Girl. Further proof: I also recently resisted buying a pink pop-art cake tin and polka-dot oven gloves on the grounds that their girliness was not fair on him. True story.
This film breaks away from the standard will they-won’t they make it up the aisle stuff, and instead follows highly strung career girl Nat (Rose Byrne) and loveably scruffy novelist Josh (Rafe Spall). After a bit of a whirlwind romance, they are now a few months into Acutal Marriage, and the cracks are starting to show.
Two things absolutely steal the show in this film – how very, very skinny Rose Byrne is (seriously. Her arms. Though I do want absolutely everything in her wardrobe.) and the hysterically, spectacularly awkward Steven Merchant. He. Is. Hilarious. He manages to constantly, cluelessly surpass the point of cringe… and doesn’t everyone has a friend like that?!
So much of this film is relatable to real life and real relationships – we both found ourselves turning to each other mid-way going, “That’s you! You do that!”. Singing the wrong song lyrics? Rob Goodwin, I’m looking at you. This is a very, very funny film, a laugh-out-loud funny film, and the whole packed-out cinema was roaring (and cringing) along together.
I came away thinking, “I really enjoyed that”. Sometimes a night to watching something funny, and touching, and real, is just what’s needed. I Give It A Year remminds you how important it is to do what makes you happy – it’s your life, after all. I would have liked a little bit more back-story (when do I not!) about Nat and Josh pre-wedding, and how and why they fell for each other in the first place. It does work, but you’re kind of just asked to accept that they did, when they’re so patently incompatible. But then maybe that’s the point – you don’t know what it was that drew them to each other, because neither, really, do they. And that’s a bit what love’s like, isn’t it? Sometimes you just meet someone, and you can’t put your finger on what or why but… you love them. And this film reminds you to like them, too.