» » Nende esimene aasta (2013)

Short summary

Newlywed couple Nat and Josh are deliriously happy despite their differences, though friends and family aren't convinced that they can last. With their first anniversary approaching and attractive alternatives in the mix, can they last?
Newlywed couple Nat and Josh are deliriously happy despite their differences, though friends and family aren't convinced that they can last. With their first anniversary approaching and attractive alternatives in the mix, can they last?

Trailers "Nende esimene aasta (2013)"

Rose Byrne plays an Englishwoman, and Simon Baker plays an American. However, they are both Australian.

Director Dan Mazer was worried about the two main cast members, Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall, because when they met, they bonded and had great chemistry. But in the movie, the two aren't supposed to.

There is an extra scene that occurs in the middle of the end credits.

The "solvents" factory, used in the film, is actually Meantime Brewing Company's brewery in North Greenwich, London.

The Ministry of Sound club in London was used for the filming of the Christmas Party.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Orll
    Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) get married after a whirlwind romance. As their first year of marriage progresses, they begin to learn that they don't seem to be very compatible. When one factors in the reappearance of Josh's previous love interest Chloe (Anna Faris) and Guy (Simon Baker), a romantically inclined client of Nat's, both of whom seem to have much more in common with the spouses, one wonders whether the marriage will survive for a year.

    This romcom is, in the modern fashion, fairly rude, so don't go and see it if you are offended by smutty humour, sex, nudity or bad language. It is also, again in the modern fashion, largely powered by the humour of embarrassment (best friend Danny (Stephen Merchant) delivers a Best Man speech of excruciating embarrassment, aware but uncaring of the offence and discomfort he causes, for instance). Again, if you don't care for this sort of humour, you're not going to enjoy the film. And it's clear that a number of reviewers, both professional and other, belong firmly in that camp - nobody likes everything.

    But the proof of the pudding lies in the eating. I saw this film in a fairly well attended screening with a mixed audience, mostly mature couples and not the sort of audience I would have expected this film to appeal to, except that they were all people who had experienced the difficulties which the experience of living with someone else brings with it. And that is at the heart of this film. When I wasn't laughing out loud, I was giggling almost constantly - I found this film very funny. And, from the evidence of my ears, I was not alone - there was a lot of (especially female) laughing out loud.

    Spall and Faris have some funny stuff, and Byrne is also funny by virtue of playing it straight - of the 4 principals, only Simon Baker suffers from an absence of humorous material. But the secondary characters make up for this, with Merchant's crass best friend and Olivia Coleman's sour relationship counsellor being best of the bunch. There are some very funny set pieces - Baker's attempted hotel seduction, Faris' threesome, Coleman's phone diatribe - and stay through the titles in order to catch Jane Asher's final line.

    I really enjoyed this and I recommend it highly (but only if you are in the mood for that sort of thing).
  • comment
    • Author: WOGY
    Okay, so imagine you've just finished work, got home and need something to provide a little bit of background noise whilst sat with your laptop on brushing up on what's happened in the world, whilst thinking about what to have for dinner. This film is perfect for that.

    This film isn't not funny. It's just not THAT funny. Quirky bits here and there, but once you've heard one sex pun, you've heard 'em all. It never really gets going and half way through the film I could tell I wasn't the only one sat in the cinema thinking this is slowly turning into a bit of a bore.

    There are a smattering of funny areas, particularly the Christmas Party scene, but other than that, it's your run-of-the-mill Brit Rom-Com that doesn't really come to life.

    Advice? Wait until it turns up on Sky Movies. Then you can judge for free.
  • comment
    • Author: Heraly
    I Give It a Year. As a cinema lover, I'd give it a miss! Dan Mazer (famous for writing Borat and Bruno, starring Sacha Baron Cohen) gives his directorial debut with this rom com that looks at the trials and tribulations of a newlywed couple during their first year of marriage. Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne play the 'happy' couple and the film also features the likes of Anna Faris, Minnie Driver, Simon Baker and Stephen Merchant.

    In a word: terrible. The film is very cruel in the way that the first 5 minutes are actually quite funny with Stephen Merchant giving an incredibly awkward and humorous best man's speech at the wedding of which anyone who has been part of a wedding can relate to and find amusing. You think to yourself that if the movie keeps this tone then you could be in for an hour and a half of laughs.

    Instead, what you get is 92 more minutes of very average dialogue that is trying to pass itself off as humour. 95% of the jokes are to do with sex and that is becoming a problem with a lot of films these days like Movie 43 as a prime example. They just aren't clever enough and leave you feeling very disappointed because the scenario of the film can be made into a really funny story with all the things that can go wrong in a marriage. Only a handful of things are portrayed though i.e. leaving the toilet seat up or not taking the bin out when it's full.

    As far as rom coms go, it fails miserably at the 'com' part. Stephen Merchant is the only character remotely funny with his typical way of delivering jokes but as for the rest of the cast, it's just appalling! A married couple, played by Minnie Driver and Jason Flemyng, seem to hate each other constantly for no apparent reason and their insults to one another just lack any comedic effect. A disappointing performance as well from Olivia Colman, the newlywed's marriage councillor, who is just a foul mouthed nut case herself with her own marriage problems but, again, the humour isn't there.

    Far better rom coms have been made and far better rom coms will be written in the future. Sorry Dan but not the greatest start to a directorial career that I have seen. Maybe stick with Sacha Baron Cohen because even he is funnier than I Give It a Year!
  • comment
    • Author: Trash
    With so many modern romantic comedies reaching the point of unintentional self parody, we have (thankfully) seen a niche segment emerge that aims to subvert the conventions that have plagued this once frothy and enjoyable genre. Fare like (500) Days of Summer, Celeste and Jesse Forever and Friends with Kids have seen the sins of the father and have come up with ways to please mainstream audiences but without insulting their intelligence. I Give It a Year joins these rare ranks and delivers a sometimes gut busting, always frank and enjoyably clever look at the trails and tribulations of marriage.

    There are certainly times when this British-American hybrid goes too far with its crude dialogue or goofy awkward rants but writer-director Dan Mazer still clearly knows what is funny, and his time writing for Da Ali G Show has served him well in his directorial debut. Certainly the heart and soul of I Give It a Year comes with the well matched talents of its two main leads Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall as a newlywed couple who tied the knot after just seven months together. We often cut back to a session with a brash marriage counsellor who probably does more harm than good and also with Natasha and Josh's interactions with a former flame (Anna Farris) and a business connection (Simon Baker) who may play a larger role as things unwind. Either playing off one another or interacting with the supporting cast these two bring the laughs and a believable depiction of a union in distress.

    As can often be the case with a peak into the lives of others, especially into one not on the best of terms, awkwardness follows and so is the case with this film. Like being present as a third wheel while a couple have a spat, some scenes in I Give It a Year ring uncomfortably true. Thankfully what this film avoids is painting either Nat or Josh as the reason for the troubles – never opting to paint the wife as merely the shrill, bitchy ninny or the husband as a slovenly tool. Each have their faults, each have their positive attributes and each have the chance to be at the receiving end of an unnecessarily cruel insult or judgement. So while not likable insofar as we're viewing them in tough times, we are able to rationalize with these people and view them as real humans, not just as the brunt of jokes or mere players in a game of marital politics.

    The laughs in Mazer's film come from multiple facets, may it be the interplay between characters, situational humour such as a trip to a lingerie shop, or its (often vulgar) wit. The funniest scene (and of the best of the year) involves a visit from the in-laws and a digital picture screen and needless to say the way that Spall plays the situation is absolutely perfect and had be reduced to a cackling idiot. If one buys into the often sarcastic and overly clever dialogue will come down to the viewer, but for the most part it won me over, in large due to how the cast deliver the lines and react in turn.

    I Give It a Year also concludes in a perfect way and one that stays true to the same awkward, sardonic tone the rest of the film adopts. To say it slaps in the face every film that wraps up with someone literally running to the airport last minute to proclaim their eternal love would be an understatement. A closer approximation would be that it puts those offerings in a sleeper hold and squeezes out every ounce of maddening cliché. It's satisfying, funny and refreshingly direct. This act is preceded by what is also one of the best "reunion" speeches I've ever heard. I won't spoil anything as to how it unfurls but it too is cooling in its candidness.

    While unfortunately not quite parody and maybe never quite as clever as it intends, I Give It a Year is still rife with mirth and deftly understands elements of marriage, relationships and most importantly the irritating formula of the rom-com. Earning its R-rating and showing unequivocally that Byrne, Spall, Farris and Baker are the things of leading men and women, this often uncomfortable but ultimately earnest feature is fun from beginning to end – something, as this film reminds us, is nothing at all like marriage.
  • comment
    • Author: Andromathris
    This was just a breath of fresh air. I hate romantic comedies so upon hearing that this was ANTI romantic comedy and more emphasis placed on the comedy aspect of the film i wanted to see it. It's a funny, witty, exquisitely entertaining, and has something for men and women to enjoy.

    The situations the characters find themselves in seem entirely natural and not forced which only makes them funnier and everyone done a really good job comically.

    What compelled me to write this short review of the film is that despite this being the films release date(8th Feburary) there are no ratings or reviews. It really deserves to be seen and it was great fun. And without giving anything away it's not what you think.
  • comment
    • Author: Kinashand
    After reading some of the reviews I was not sure what to expect. I found a movie that was better than expected. Myself and the whole theatre were laughing out loud throughout. Some of the reviewers just love to read their own writing and some of us don't want every movie to be "Lincoln". We just want a good old fashioned, don't think too much movie that makes us laugh. If you like American slapstick humour this is not it. It is terrific British humour at its best. If you liked "Something about Mary" you will love this. I just got back an hour ago and am still laughing. Watch the trailer, if you like it then go see the movie. Unlike many films where the best bits are in the trailer and thats it, the trailer just serves as an appetizer. If you are a prude don't go. If you are like the rest of us and want a good night out go see it. Don't be put off by reviewers who wouldn't know funny if they sat on it.
  • comment
    • Author: Gholbirius
    All comedy stems from tragedy. Comedy cannot exist with a dramatic premise because drama forms the situations of reality from which a narrative can exist and develop. What is said within these situations becomes the punchline. The stronger the situations and the more involving the drama of the story, the funnier the film should be. Modern comedies though often fail to acknowledge the dramatic value of a situation, hoping the jokes will support themselves.

    I Give it a Year didn't draw a single laugh from me. It forgoes the crucial rule of humour: comedy must exist in reality. This is an anomaly for the British studio Working Title Films whose films, including Love Actually and Notting Hill, have grounded themselves in both quiet observation and dry wit. With a script by first time director Dan Mazer, the plot and the characters here are both underdeveloped and the jokes misfire from unrealistic situations and dialogue.

    Mazer is a long-time collaborator of Sacha Baron Cohen. He wrote and produced all three of Cohen's feature films, including Borat, which were American-UK productions. Similarly, this film is crassly written as though Working Title Films had a broader demographic in mind, to whom the subject of sex might still seem like the high point of comedy.

    The concept is not as subversive as Mazer claims it is either. Josh (Rafe Spall) and Nat (Rose Byrne) are a couple who have decided to marry after seven months. None of their friends, including Nat's sister (Minnie Driver), believe that they will last. Two months later and they are already in counselling. Josh has written one book but has failed to grasp the second. Nat is working in an office and frustrated by Josh's complacency and his annoying best friend Danny (Stephen Merchant).

    Josh becomes reacquainted with his ex-girlfriend Chloe (Anna Faris) and Nat is attracted to the smooth talking and successful Guy (Simon Baker), an American client who likes her but doesn't know that she is married. The familiar premise of two people already spoken for attaches itself to a gimmick where we are meant to realise that Josh and Nat don't belong to each other and are better suited to other partners.

    The film postures as being about the aftermath of commitment, including the consequences of rushing into a marriage. However, this concept is not treated with any dramatic weight or seriousness for the situations to hold any trace of drama or tragedy. Instead, we're reminded frequently of why the couple is unsuited but the point is obvious and laboured: we're meant to laugh at a failing relationship that was never promising to begin with.

    Mazer also diminishes the comedy by reducing scenes into disconnected skits, determined to embarrass characters, even the ones that we're meant to be rooting for. The characters are so thinly drawn that it disperses the likelihood of seeing them growing and having an emotional attachment. Being made a slacker, Josh is the target for a lot of juvenile humiliations including: his in-laws seeing naked photos of him! Or dancing drunkenly like Beyoncé at Nat's work function!

    The potential partners aren't free from this degradation either. Anna Faris has a terribly unfunny scene where she is squashed under a would- be threesome with her partner and another girl. Simon Baker, whose performance overloads on unctuousness, has his romantic credibility strained in a stupid scene where he brings a violinist and doves to a private board meeting with Nat. Would it spoil the gag to mention there is a fan in the room?

    Stephan Merchant is a hugely talented comedian but his role is singular: to be as obnoxious as possible, reminding us how even Josh's friends repulsive to Nat. He echoes Spike from Notting Hill, but minus anything resembling a character arc. He exists to say unlikely things, like a wedding speech where he talks about having sex with bridesmaids. It's unbearably grating and not funny.

    Much of the dialogue in I Give it a Year resides in this level of smuttiness to hold the audience's attention in the absence of drama and conflict. But comedy that retains dramatic purpose is always preferable to comedy for comedy's sake. The tragedy that should uphold the dramatic framework of the story must be relative to the characters, not the film itself.
  • comment
    • Author: Iraraeal
    Check out my review on my Blog at

    Dysfunctional is definitely a word I would use to describe this film.

    "I Give It A Year" follows the trials and tribulations of a young couple who, after marrying shortly after meeting, struggle through married life for the first year of their new lives. Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne are the couple in question but as their lives take a turn away from each other and into the arms of ex-girlfriends (Anna Faris) and business colleagues (Simon Baker) everything turns to turmoil with hilarious results.

    Awkward is another word I would use to describe this film. Much of the comedy stems from the wrong thing being said at the wrong time in front of the wrong people. Steven Merchant's best friend role is one he plays to perfection as it's not too much of a stretch from his normal self as Ricky Gervais' right-hand man.

    Spall is great fun in the film and has to carry a lot of the comedy himself, having a very quirky relationship with his Ex, where Byrne is a more serious person and the situations she finds herself in lend themselves more to the "should she or shouldn't she" question.

    It's not the funniest film ever made, but it's well worth a chuckle and I can't help think that the film would have benefited more from a full cinema, rather than a 7-person screening (yes I was the odd one out). Comedy films tend to work a lot better when there's more people watching.

    That being said, the first third of the film and the last third definitely have moments which are very funny and "Laugh Out Loud" but the middle section does seem to focus more on which way the characters will turn than the comedy aspect.

    Worth a watch, by maybe a DVD viewing in a year or so rather than making a special trip to see on the big screen.
  • comment
    • Author: Celak
    I got this for the actors, whom I all think are brilliant. I didn't know much about it, but read the back cover description on the DVD and thought, eh, worth a shot... And I leave this movie appalled. Hardly funny - a few key moments, but mostly trying too hard to be "alternative" - and the main characters are generally unlikeable. Actually, I retract that: Josh is okay, but Nat I despise. I literally rooted out loud for Chloe (Anna Feris), the ex-girlfriend. And Simon Baker in another ridiculously alluring/womanizing role to a committed woman... I just didn't find it funny. The only heart I saw in the film was a small moment between Minnie Driver's character and the character's husband, a brief respite from this train wreck of a film.

    If you're looking for a quirky, against-the-grain romantic comedy, you could do much better anywhere else.
  • comment
    • Author: ARE
    I Give It a Year

    I really wanted to like this film but as I watched I became more and more irritated by it. Dan Mazer tried far too hard to deliver what I'm sure he thought were amusing British comedy one liners but it was overdone, lacked originality and was frankly boring. Any acting skill was dwarfed by poor overburdened script writing which made authenticity difficult to execute.

    The scenes, characters, story line and plot have all been done far better in other British classics like Notting Hill and Four Weddings where everything gels beautifully. Here however is a mish-mash of nonsense that fails to deliver. I was tempted to switch off 10 minutes through but thought I may as well give it a shot. What a disappointment!

    This movie demonstrates a new non-comic genre of British film making which is too overdone to be funny, too unrealistic to be engaging and too irritating to be entertaining. I give it the thumbs down…
  • comment
    • Author: Anazan
    I file this in the same category as Death at a funeral and A few best men: a nominally funny premise where the comedy is shoveled on with a trowel in a 'quantity equals quality' approach. Stephan Merchant's lines in particular are so cringe-worthy that after the 10th faux pas you know he's going to say something offensive every time he opens his mouth so there is no shock value left. Rafe Spall seems to be treating this as a movie-length episode of 'Pete vs Life'. This is a British film but it has all the hallmarks of a typical U.S. gross-out comedy, and all the shortcomings of that genre too. If you don't believe in the characters as real people then the comedy becomes like watching a cartoon. Be warned: if you have seen the trailer, then you have seen all the best lines in the film.
  • comment
    • Author: Seevinev
    Sadly not very funny. I did not find the lead male particularly charming. Ralph Spall, the romantic lead, was just an annoying child. Rose Byrne, cold. The plot followed a well trodden route and even the surprise ending wasn't particularly original. One almost wanted Anna Faris and Simon Baker to tell the Spall and Byrne to bugger off for messing them both about so much. The threesome sex scene was gratuitous and over long and played out to an almost silent cinema. I can see why Olivia Coleman, playing the Relate Counsellor, was angry, due to her own family issues, but her so called comedy anger just got tiresome. The only scene which was at all endearing was the exchange between Minnie Driver and Jason Flymming, when they explained why despite all the flaws each has, they still loved each other.

    A dull British Rom-Com. Shallow and clichéd.
  • comment
    • Author: Dilkree
    When writing this review I fear that it will be hard to stretch it to as much as ten lines because the film was dreadful and we struggled to find the will to watch it to the end. It was a good idea ruined by a terrible script! Gratuitously vulgar it was unredeemed by any shred of originality. Written by Dan Mazer it failed to match his equally vulgar Sacha Baron Cohen scripts which were at least filled with the originality that this offering completely lacks. Such a pity because if it had been wittily and cleverly written the idea had the potential to equal Notting Hill and Love Actually and their genre.

    A huge disappointment, how on earth did they get the backers? Might they pay again with a different writer because I would love to see this idea and storyline reach its obvious potential. On the other hand perhaps our revolted and bored reaction is what the writer sought!
  • comment
    • Author: Perdana
    Have you ever literally cringed?

    I felt like doing so at many times during this film. Let's call it a movie, as I think 'film' should be reserved for something better.

    To begin, I WANTED to like it. I really never followed Rose Byrne, but I liked her in X-Men, and I have liked Anna Farris in a couple of things. The first twenty minutes or so however should have been a clear indication that I really wasn't going to, and I should have cut my losses then and there.

    But no. I watched until the sleep-inducing end.

    NONE of the characters are very likable although their unlikeablity ranges from mild unlikeability to extreme dislike. Nat (Rose Byrne's character) is a total witch and you get the idea that no matter who she is married to, that won't change. Her husband, played by Rafe Spall is the most likable, again, of unlikeable characters, and is portrayed as dumb, uninteresting and a moron sometimes. Simon Baker's character is just dull, uninteresting, and it felt like the actor was just calling his scenes in. Anna Farris looked pretty bad and her character was such a tremendous pushover you kind of wanted to slap her. Oh, and a special mention to Rafe Spall's character's best friend who should win an award for most annoying supporting character EVER.

    Note to the makers of this film: YOU CANNOT have a hit if most of your characters have almost no appeal whatsoever.

    The premise too was just bad-awful and you know it is a movie while watching it because in the real world no real person would act/react the way any of these characters acted in several of the scenes.

    The comedy itself wasn't HORRIBLE, it just wasn't really THERE. There are literally NO laugh-out-loud moments, although there are a couple of cute 'haha', funny scenes. Mostly though, again, you just feel as if you have to cringe in embarrassment for the fake (in every sense of the word) "people".

    The ending is so ... trite ... but fits the entirety of the movie well, in that nothing about it is any good.

    All in all, I wish I had skipped it.
  • comment
    • Author: MisterQweene
    The rom-comedy genre has been known for being very formulaic and often entries are a dime a dozen. It is hard to stand out of the crowd and it is often a genre that plays it safe. But I Give It a Year is a film that attempts to twist the rom-com clichés.

    Josh (Rafe Spall) and Nat (Rose Byrne) are a couple who after dating for seven months decide to get married, even though they friends and family think they are marrying too soon. And it turns out they are right with their marriage hits the rocks. Their eyes soon wonder to two American, Chloe (Anna Farris), Josh's ex-girlfriend and one of Nat's business clients, Guy (Simon Baker).

    Often the formula of rom-coms is that the guy or girl tries to win over someone there are often a series of mishaps and misunderstanding on the way. In I Give It a Year the main two characters are fighting for their marriage as they are two other suitors waiting in the wings. In style I Give it a Year was shot very much like other rom-coms like Bridget Jones, Love Actually and Notting Hill (Working Title made all those films) but I Give It a Year is more of an anti rom-com, being more willing to be risqué. There are some twists on typical rom-com clichés and there is a fine parody of a famous rom-com speech.

    I Give it a Year is the first film as a director for Borat writer Dan Mazar and most the humour was sex jokes or awkward/cringe humour and sometimes both. This was all summed up with Stephen Merchant in a show stealing performance giving us his trademark cringe humour and saying very politically incorrect at the most inappropriate times. Olivia Coleman as a bitter man-hating marriage counsellor who has some of the best lines in the film and great physical actions. But some of the jokes are overlong and the first joke where a priest is uncontrollably coughing led to me thinking what have I got myself in for.

    Spall and Byrne are fine actors. Spall was very good at playing a prat and Bryne was the straight character of the piece. But she is made to be more of the bad guy out of the pair as she is more willing to flirt with Guy and seeks him out as the marriage starts to crumble. The other love interests are also a bit too perfect, even trying to show Guy as the perfect (plus he owns a massive factory in Britain, why not make him British). The supporting cast are solid, particularly Minnie Driver and Jason Flyming as a marriage couple who hard each other.

    I Give It a Year is a fun film that will delight audiences. The cinema audience I saw it with enjoyed it. There are enough jokes and twists the rom-com genre to keep the film fresh.
  • comment
    • Author: Hbr
    Last year there were very few films that I found that funny, mainly because a lot of the humour was American.

    This British film gives a refreshing look on the romantic comedy and has a simple yet interesting plot.

    Both main actors are brilliantly suited to their characters, but it is mainly Stephen Merchant who gets the most laughs - kind of stealing the show really. It's not a perfect film, it's a bit predictable in parts, but not boringly so.

    Definitely worth the watch!!

    (Just don't watch it with your parents)
  • comment
    • Author: spark
    Unfortunately it's a true picture of London life. People being awful to the people they're supposed to love. People refusing to change, to grow, to make room for one another - all they do is leech off each other. The ending is atrocious, where they gleefully agree to divorce, then rush off to new partners where the song is unironically "I've never felt love like this before" - despite the fact that in the opening of the film 85 minutes earlier we saw love *exactly* like that. I would credit the writer/director with this being deliberate and a withering attack on the selfishness of people flitting from relationship to relationship but the rest of the film is just so low-brow and plain dumb that I can't imagine it was deliberate. Everyone is unlikeable selfish swearing three-year-olds in this film, including the relationship counselor (and yes, I heard many colleagues speaking exactly that way to their "loved ones") - by the time the end comes and they are with their "one" you think "meh". Disappointing schlock.
  • comment
    • Author: Carrot
    This could have been a very good feel good movie if it had been shown that Nat and Josh had gone through a series of trials, tribulations and temptations but then remembered their love for each other and emerged with their marriage and love stronger than ever.

    Instead they indulge in what can only literally be called, wife swapping with Chloe and Guy, with Chloe going to Josh and Nat going to Guy.

    Marriage vows are trampled upon.

    A movie that leaves the viewer feeling bad and depressed that marital love does not triumph.


  • comment
    • Author: Qusicam
    One of the press releases proclaimed I Give it a Year as the best British film of the year. Fortunately, the year is still very young. And last year they saved the best, Sightseers, for last. Fear not, there is still much cause for hope.

    The title and the trailer tell you everything you need to know, so no synopsis here. It begins strongly with a 'watch through your fingers' best man's speech from Danny (Stephen Merchant), which, though he cannot hope to match that speech from Four Weddings and a Funeral, prompts as many chuckles as he does groans. He doesn't merely dig himself a hole of humiliation, he keeps on digging until he disappears from sight, unaware that everyone else is either squirming or preparing to kill.

    The wedding scenes establish I Give it a Year perfectly, providing plenty of evidence of how woefully mismatched couple, Josh (Rafe Spall) and Nat (Rose Byrne) are and the relationships between couple and in-laws, while providing plenty of opportunity for background humour. Watch for the destruction caused by the horribly twee and ecologically disastrous tradition of Chinese lanterns.

    And then it thuds.

    I Give it a Year desperately wants to be an original rom-com but it hasn't the balls to see it through.

    *********** MASSIVE PLOT SPOILER ALERT *********** Writer Dan Mazer hit an Oscar-nominated high with his screenplay for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan but fails to come even close to that constant barrage of gags and clever dialogue. And not even the director can save him because, oh, it's Dan Mazer. He presents a couple whose biggest crime is not being stereotypical but being unpleasant at heart. They both fall for other people (Josh for Chloe, his ex-girlfriend; Nat for Guy, a new client) who are genuine and more interested in other people and helping make the world a better place than in wearing designer labels or climbing the career ladder.

    While at first Josh appears devoted to Nat, we discover he's critical, lazy and controlling. And Nat, though apparently a sweet Venus, is actually self-centred, demanding and lacking in understanding. Meanwhile, Chloe (Anna Faris) and Guy (Simon Baker) are presented to us as perfect. When they are thrust together by default it is a moment to exhale a satisfied sigh and expect an evolving script that bravely gives the unpleasant leads their comeuppance and allows the underdogs true love and happiness.

    But that initial hint at Mazer's ability to give us something new with I Give it a Year is short lived and he fails monumentally by having the wrong couples get together when they are clearly not suitable for each other. What is he playing at? It isn't sweet, it isn't romantic, it isn't a tail of love, it's a balls-up of a genuinely good idea. It rarely climbs above 'vaguely amusing' and frequently falls below 'ho-hum.' Moreover, when we hit the final scene where true love supposedly finds its way, it's just an amateurish mess that leaves us annoyed.

    That said, the presence of Minnie Driver as Nat's a sour-faced friend almost makes the 97-minute running time worthwhile. Her glares may be withering but the way she scythes her husband (Jason Flemying) is delightful and Mazer has the good sense not to over-do her appearances.

    The funniest lines are delivered by the underused Nigel Planer (curiously uncredited on IMDb) as Josh's dad and Jane Asher as the mother-in-law from hell (you'll need to watch the credits for her humdinger) but the thief of the film is Olivia Colman. Again. While her first scene as the marriage guidance counsellor edges towards pantomime, her later scene where she lets rip at her husband over the phone is comedy magic and the standout moment of I Give it a Year.

    Alas, it's not enough to make the admission price worthwhile.

    I Give it a Year is neither the worst nor the funniest film of 2013. The year is in its infancy and we'll see more at either end of the scale in the coming 11 months. It is little more than another wasted idea with a few very funny moments that won't justify your time or the production budget.

    For more reviews from The Squiss, subscribe to my blog and like the Facebook page.
  • comment
    • Author: Bynelad
    Early in the film, when the minister conducting the marriage ceremony has a coughing fit just before he can pronounce the couple man and wife, I knew this movie was in deep trouble. Did it recover from such an unfunny and contrived scene? The answer is no, but it certainly added a lot more that were just as bad or even worse.

    Comedies rarely win Academy Awards but they probably should when you think how clever they have to be to make people laugh. Unfortunately, "I Give it a Year" isn't one of them. Instead it is a movie that desperately needed a rewrite.

    A couple, Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall), find that they are not well suited to each other after marrying quite impulsively. She is a corporate high-flyer and he is an aspiring writer. Both are attracted to others, she to a rich client, Guy (Simon Baker), and he to an old flame, Chloe (Anna Faris). The film cuts back and forth between the events of the first year of marriage until it reaches a resolution that is more bewildering than satisfying.

    Although that all sounds straightforward enough, the plot is overly complicated, searching in all directions for laughs, which don't arrive.

    Despite claims to be an exploration of a modern relationship, first and foremost the film attempts to be a comedy. However, nearly all the scenes where that potential existed, are too long, too crude, and too lacking in a true comedic touch.

    The film is not helped by the lack of chemistry between Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall. Both are so serious and unhappy in most scenes that it's as though they are lacking fibre in their diet. But then again, maybe they knew there wasn't much they could do with this script.

    Same problem for Simon Baker and Anna Faris who do bring a lighter touch to the proceedings, but are buried under the contrivance of it all. Anna Faris as Chloe deserved better than the tasteless and interminable threesome scene.

    Even Stephen Merchant as Josh's friend and best man, Danny, can't really lift the film despite a great deal of the rambling banter in the style he developed with Ricky Gervais (answering his own questions in the same sentence etc).

    The script and direction are by Dan Mazer. Where a separate director and writer can often provide a balance and maybe even a reality check for each other - not so when it's the same person. Mazer co-wrote the Sacha Baron Cohen films "Borat" and "Brüno - ambush comedies where the humour is extracted by surprising real people and trying to make fools of them.

    "I Give it a Year" is a different proposition altogether - to create characters from scratch that we care about and who make us laugh would seem to be beyond the talents involved here.
  • comment
    • Author: Yozshujinn
    This could have been a feel good movie if it had been shown that Nat and Josh had gone through a series of trials, tribulations and temptations but then remembered their love for each other and emerged with their marriage and love stronger than ever.

    Instead they indulge in what can only literally be called, wife swapping with Chloe and Guy, with Chloe going to Josh and Nat going to Guy.

    Marriage vows are trampled upon and the viewer is left with a sense of disgust for the characters and feeling bad and depressed that marital love does not triumph.


  • comment
    • Author: Gavirgas
    From the start it's obvious where this story is going to end up and we must be grateful that it only takes 97 minutes to get there. The script, mostly a series of break-ups and makings-up, might have worked for a TV sitcom but it's not enough to sustain a movie. The direction - like the writing - is uninspired.

    There's a terrible lack of chemistry between each pair of leads, whichever way you mix them. The men are more persuasive than the women, and Minnie Driver outshines the two female stars. Olivia Colman has a nice role as a counsellor in need of counselling herself. Stephen Merchant gives us his usual tiresome nerd so persuasively that you want to see him pushed under a bus.

    The law of diminishing returns seems to be applying to British rom-coms. PIRATE RADIO (The Boat that Rocked) wasn't as funny as LOVE ACTUALLY which wasn't as romantic as NOTTING HILL which wasn't as funny as FOUR WEDDINGS. I GIVE IT A YEAR is conspicuously lacking in believable romance and a few chuckles do not constitute much of a comedy.

    I'd give it a miss.
  • comment
    • Author: Oso
    When they said this was the Rom Com of the year I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. But then the year is young and the critic must have had a sense of humour bypass.

    From the terrible best man speech at the outset it was clear that the script writer decided that it was beyond funny to have someone say something inappropriate at exactly the wrong moment... all the time.

    The main characters had no redeeming features and you just wanted them to leave the screen.

    The 'scene stealer' by the guidance councillor was no more than a tirade of over the top bad language and has been done better with less swearing by Basil Faulty.

    I only gave it a 1 because there isn't a lower score option.
  • comment
    • Author: Gashakar
    "If you can make it through the first year of marriage you can make it through anything." Nat (Byrne) and Josh (Spall) have known each other for 7 months when they decide to get married. What starts off happy and exciting quickly turns into something neither of them are sure it will last. When Josh's ex comes back into the picture and Nat's client arrives their relationship is tested to the breaking point with neither Nat or Josh wanting to give up. Judging by the preview I was expecting a laugh out loud comedy and I was looking forward to this. Stephen Merchant and Minnie Driver are really the best and funniest parts of this movie. Their dialog and timing are great. As for the main characters and main story line I found myself more disgusted then I found myself laughing. Nat and Josh really aren't likable and as far as Guy went I really hated him. This movie is nothing more then two married people bordering on cheating on each other with people who are willing even though all parties involved know the situation. If you have seen the movie Closer then you have seen a better version of this. There were funny parts in this but really the movie just made me more upset then anything. Overall, Stephen Merchant and Minnie Driver are great, the rest of the movie not so much. I give it a C+.
  • comment
    • Author: Winasana
    This is the attempt to latch on to the commercial success of "Four Weddings And A Funeral" by recreating a British comedy that's aimed squarely at the US-American market (whilst stealing the entire plot of "An Indecent Proposal" and hoping that no-one will notice). Very romanticand crude. Threesome sex where the girls keep their bras on to avoid a PG-16 rating. You get the picture.

    I was duped into watching this because Stephen Merchant, the co-author of The Office, is in it, therefore I expected some The Office-esque humour. I was disappointed. Literally all the jokes feel as if they had been created on a computer with a joke-designing software. A boorish bridegroom giving a toast at a posh wedding -- potentially funny. Watching holiday snaps with your in-laws and realising that they contain some delicate off-pool capers -- potentially funny. A cynical marriage counselor whose own marriage is in the doldrums -- potentially funny. After a while this movie felt like the DVD extras where the director says "This scene didn't fire so it had to hit the cutting room floor", only here they made a movie out of it.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Rose Byrne Rose Byrne - Nat
    Rafe Spall Rafe Spall - Josh
    Alex Macqueen Alex Macqueen - Minister
    Stephen Merchant Stephen Merchant - Danny
    Jane Asher Jane Asher - Diana
    Terence Harvey Terence Harvey - Alec
    Minnie Driver Minnie Driver - Naomi
    Jason Flemyng Jason Flemyng - Hugh
    Nigel Planer Nigel Planer - Brian
    Maisy Mazer Maisy Mazer - Bridesmaid
    Matilda Thykier Matilda Thykier - Bridesmaid
    Clare Higgins Clare Higgins - Elaine
    Anna Faris Anna Faris - Chloe
    Kevin Moore Kevin Moore - Toastmaster
    Olivia Colman Olivia Colman - Linda
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