ABSOLUTELY NOT RECOMMENDED, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES: Do you remember a few years back, when everybody was supposed to give a shit about the American version of The Office because it was an Important Cultural Event that it didn’t suck and was supposed to speak to some version of the American Philosophical Condition? Well, that was one option: The other was to see the American version of The Office as a subtle but distinct TOOL OF THE MAN to lull you into a kind of complacency that would suggest that it’s perfectly okay to be a sleepy cubicle jockey, your tie crumbed with Chex Mix as your dreams effortlessly pass you by, because we’re all in the same boat and in the new American dream, absolutely fucking nobody gets what they want but it’s cool because nobody cared much in the first place.
Well, it’s hard not to see The Five-Year Engagement as a natural extension of this Everybody’s Settling For Less These Days philosophy. This is a Judd Apatow Bucket Brigade picture, and lest you think that we believe ourselves too cool for these movies, we’re not. We loved Bridesmaids a hell of a lot, and Dinner For Schmucks, Stepbrothers and Get Him To The Greek all have special places in our hearts. But there is no way in hell we are going for this Jason Segel as the new Jimmy Stewart bullshit. The best Bucket Brigade movies have an edge on them — a healthy bucking-against-normalcy for something higher than the aims of manchildren everywhere — but this one just feels like dumb wedding-season bait that will rot your brain and make you hate bros more than you already do. Do not go see this. And for fuck’s sake, stop watching The Office if you haven’t already. It’s making your brain fat.
ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: The Raven, starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe, and which we have already addressed; Safe, in which Jason Statham continues his quest to be the British badass version of Arthur Kade; The Pirates! Band of Misfits, some kid dreck which — hey! — is actually the best thing opening this week.