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'Five-Year Engagement' often quite engaging

The Five-Year Engagement is a romantic comedy with heart — and laughs.

That should go without saying, but too many rom-coms these days refuse to take any risks.

Directed by Nicholas Stoller from a script he wrote with star Jason Segel, Engagement is a wacky — too wacky occasionally — look at what you go through for love and the surprises that any relationship brings.

Segel plays Tom, a San Francisco chef whose plan to propose to his girlfriend, Violet (Emily Blunt), quickly goes awry but in a charming way. Everything about the couple is charming; so it's easy to root for them. But from the title, you know their road together is not going to be easy.

When Violet, a research psychologist, gets a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, Tom agrees to move with her to Ann Arbor. He thinks he can pick up his own promising career there. The trouble is, fancy restaurants in a college town are not in high demand, and the only job Tom can get is in fast food.

A good sport again, he dutifully tries to become part of Violet's world but finds he has little in common with the academics and eventually finds himself palling around with Bill, a sad sack stay-at-home husband amusingly played by Chris Parnell.

Engagement is stacked with funny offbeat characters.

Brian Posehn is a "pickle nerd." Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart and Randall Park play Violet's overly competitive cohorts in the psych department, run by a likable, but suspiciously too likeable, professor (Rhys Ifans).

The bottom line is that Engagement brings some soul with its jokes. You can tell by the music, supplied mostly by the great Van Morrison.

The Five-Year Engagement retails for $29.98 or $34.98 Blu-ray.

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