LEAP YEAR (PG, 100 mins) 4/10
The luck of the Irish runs out for one hopeless romantic in Anand Tucker’s implausible comedy, so it does, to be sure, to be sure.
Promoting a stereotypical image of rural Ireland which would make Father Ted and his flock roll their eyes in disbelief and shout, “Begorrah!”, Leap Year is a sappy road movie that clearly signposts every tiny pothole in the path to true love.
Timed for release, predictably, at the end of February, this jaunt across the Emerald Isle brings together two strangers on a hare-brained adventure that ultimately brings them together.
To say the lead characters are an unlikely match would be an understatement: She’s a fiercely independent interior designer from Boston with money to burn; he’s a lackadaisical chef from the nether regions of Ireland, about to lose his pub to the debt collectors.
Never the twain shall meet, except in the screenplay by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont.
Anna Brady (Amy Adams) is deliriously happy with her cardiologist boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) and as their four-year anniversary approaches, she becomes convinced he is about to get down on bended knee.
He doesn’t, and heads off to Dublin instead for a conference.
Following the lead of her father (John Lithgow), Anna spontaneously hatches a plan to propose to Jeremy in Ireland on Leap Day.
However, her carefully plotted travel itinerary falls into disarray when bad weather forces the airplane to make a detour, far from her intended destination of Dublin.
Anna is understandably distraught at the prospect of seeing her unabashedly romantic plans come to naught.
Thankfully, handsome innkeeper Declan (Matthew Goode) promises to help her travel all of the way to Dublin in time for February 29, in exchange for the euros to save his ailing pub.
The trek to the Irish capital is fraught with perils, and Anna and Declan fall victim to outrageous misfortune.
Every disaster brings them closer together and as they approach their destination, Anna has a very important decision to make.
Leap Year is a waste of Oscar nominee Adams’ undeniable talents.
Her globe-trotting heroine errs on the annoying, and we don’t believe for an instant in the burgeoning attraction to Goode’s wastrel with the wandering accent, who derides Anna’s plan as “a load of old poo!”
Does anyone over the age of five speak like that?
It comes as no surprise that screenwriters Kaplan and Elfont were responsible for the Patrick Dempsey romantic comedy Made Of Honor, which painted Scotland as one big, bonnie, tartan-clad cliche.
They clumsily contrive each slapstick interlude, building to a happy ending set on a windswept cliff top at sunset.
All that’s missing is a rainbow to lead the lovebirds to some jolly little leprechauns and a pot o’ gold.