Directed by Anand Tucker, Leap Year is a 2010 American romantic comedy that has become my new standard for unrealistic love stories.
Anna Brady (Amy Adams), a real estate stager, is a quirky red-headed control freak with severe obsessive compulsive disorder. Impatient that her boyfriend Jeremy Sloane (Adam Scott), a cardiologist, has not proposed to her yet after a four year relationship, she logically decides to take matters into her own hands instead of talking it through with him. Anna learns of an Irish tradition where every four years, on February 29th, women propose marriage to men. Since her boyfriend just so happens to be in Dublin for a conference, she rushes to follow in order to arrive in time for leap day.
Unfortunately for Anna, a coincidental storm diverts her plane to Wales. However, she is unfazed by the delay, and proceeds to inform a ticket window of her urgent need to be in Dublin by February 29th in order to propose to her boyfriend. Although shocked that her request for a special flight through the storm is rejected, she manages to hire a boat to take her Cork, but the violent winds leave the captain no choice but to dump his high-strung load and her Louis Vuitton suitcase ashore Dingle. I still wonder how Anna managed to walk over that sandy beach with her four inch heels on-what a trooper. Our heroine is next seen clumsily entering Caragh’s Tavern, a dark, dingy inn apparently empty except some old, benevolent-looking Irishmen in the corner. Suddenly-through a flap leading to the kitchen-enters the only male in the room below the age of 60. And oh boy, do I see “love interest” written all over that good-looking face? Declan O’Callaghan (Matthew Goode) (dang even his name is handsome), scoffs at Anna’s mission in his wonderful Irish accent, but due to the threat of foreclosure hanging over his tavern, he agrees to drive her to Dublin for 500 euros.
The two begin their journey in huffy silence, but their chemistry is soon interrupted by a herd of cows crossing the road. Unable to stand their slow progress, Anna soils her expensive heels in a ‘patty’ shooing the animals while Declan watches in amusement. Much to their dismay, Declan’s car shoots off down the hill and into a ditch when Anna leans on it to clean her shoes.
They continue on foot and meet many challenges, none of them being the need for food and water or a bathroom break. They finally reach a railroad station, book a ticket to Dublin, and wind up missing the train. But that’s ok! Due to that mistake, they are, much to the audience’s delight I’m sure, forced to spend the night at a conservative, elderly couple’s bed and breakfast as “Mr. and Mrs. Brady-O’Callaghan”. Since there obviously hasn’t been enough fluttery moments between the two, they are persuaded into sharing a long kiss at the dinner table and have to spend the night in the same bed (bet you didn’t see that one coming). Their next heart-pounding scene occurs when they stumble into a wedding and are invited to stay. After getting very drunk, Anna’s beer-goggles see Declan in a new light, and just as they are about to kiss, comedic relief causes her to vomit all over his shoes.
I guess she forgot about that incident the next morning when they finally arrive at Jeremy’s hotel, and are greeted by Jeremy’s surprise proposal, which Anna enthusiastically accepts. Wait-that’s not right! Anna’s supposed to end up with Declan! I mean come on woman, are you just going to stand there while he quietly exits surrounded by heartbreak and depression? Gee, too bad there isn’t a timely plot-twist to-what’s that you say Jeremy? In the four years you’ve been dating Anna, you’ve been hiding the fact that you’re secretly a jerk? How convenient. Maybe Declan has a chance after all.
Out of five stars, I give this film a one and a half. One for the fact that there was some very beautiful scenery of the Irish countryside and half for Matthew Goode (mhmm). Although I spent around 85% of the one hour and forty minutes rolling my eyes at the cheesiness, if you are a romantic at heart and still lurk around shoe stores waiting for Prince Charming, you’ll probably enjoy this movie much more than I did.
I’m sure Dingle’s economy boomed after this movie’s release in 2010. Imagine the hordes of hopeful ladies that must have stormed the taverns and shops in search of their perfect sassy Irishman.