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Anna Faris
Rose Byrne
Simon Baker
Rafe Spall.
Dan Mazer.
Dan Mazer.
Running Time
97 minutes

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I Give It A Year
A romantic comedy lacking the romance

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Marrying within months of meeting, Josh (Spall) and Nat (Byrne) discover that getting to know each other after you’re married is not a great idea. As both meet other people who test their affections, they wonder, is everyone right that if you get through the first year, the rest is easy?

I Give It A Year
Since Hugh Grant hit his fifties and starting spending more time verbally castrating gutter journalists than charming American women, Working Title, the standard bearer for British romantic comedy, has been casting around for a new poster boy. It is now the turn of Rafe Spall, an actor who has more frequently been called on to be silly in supporting roles (excepting Life Of Pi). Trimmed down and smartened up, Spall doesn’t acquit himself badly at all, albeit playing a character who’s difficult to love. Almost every character here is difficult to love.

I Give It A Year boasts a ripe pitch — should a quickly married couple (Spall and Rose Byrne) stick or twist if it’s not working out? — and Dan Mazer, writer for Sacha Baron Cohen, has written a funny, pithy script. There are strong laughs throughout, particularly from Stephen Merchant as Josh’s ferociously inappropriate best friend and Minnie Driver as Nat’s caustic sister. The ‘com’ part is covered. It’s the ‘rom’ bit that’s the issue.

For Nat and Josh’s relationship to be interesting there needs to be some kind of pull, however weak, keeping them together. Yet they seem so bored with each other, the sort of couple you dread being stuck with. There’s little coming from their alternative partners, too. Simon Baker oozes through his scenes as a smarmy client trying to make his time with public relations exec Nat much more private, and Anna Faris is lovely but miscast as an earthy charity worker who left her relationship with Josh unresolved. We need that one scene showing each couple as blissfully perfect for each other — the heart-stopper. But the heart remains resolutely unfluttered.

The jokes are strong and delivered by a very talented cast, but the heart isn’t there. It’s easy to laugh, but hard to care.

Reviewed by Olly Richards

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for I Give It A Year
Empire Star Rating

RE: I Give It A Year

Watched this a couple of nights ago really hated it not funny at all. ... More

Posted by NCC1701A at 16:19, 08 April 2014 | Report This Post

RE: I Give It A Year

There's some very funny stuff on the margins, but overall it's pretty weak. ... More

Posted by chang at 12:15, 31 December 2013 | Report This Post

RE: I Give It A Year

Good movie but Stephen merchant steals the show, his character is so inappropriate it's hilarious. ... More

Posted by moviebuff73 at 20:30, 19 August 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Agree

I thought it was rather amusing, seen with a decent crowd it's quite a hoot. They should hand out cushions to hide behind whilst watching it though, it's excruciatingly embarassing to watch at points, the digital photo-frame (I really could see that happening in real life!) scene had me cowering behind my knees practically. 3/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by paulyboy at 10:36, 12 February 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Agree

L: tysmuse Rafe's character is too much of a cliche asshole. th underused and -that-funny is fine, as always. But if it wasn't for my favourite comedian ever in a great early cameo, I probably would have knocked a star off. o surprises there then. ... More

Posted by OPEN YOUR EYES at 23:50, 11 February 2013 | Report This Post


It's better than the trailer, but still not good quite enough to be its own film. Some great set-pieces, but its humour is stymied by All The Whining™ ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 23:29, 11 February 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Agree

This really looks like every British film that sent the British film industry down the pan. Bring back Richard Curtis, like him or loathe him he knew how to pull it together and come up with a product. ... More

Posted by Professor Dent at 21:55, 11 February 2013 | Report This Post


Rafe's character is too much of a cliche asshole. Merchant is both underused and not-all-that-funny. Byrne is fine, as always. But if it wasn't for my favourite comedian ever in a great early cameo, I probably would have knocked a star off. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 17:17, 10 February 2013 | Report This Post


And Claudia Winkleman loved it - what more reason do you need to give this a miss? ... More

Posted by Indio at 23:20, 06 February 2013 | Report This Post


Whereabouts in this review does it say "A sharp smart comedy with huge laughs" like it says in the trailer that Empire said? ... More

Posted by Evil_Bob at 00:15, 05 February 2013 | Report This Post

Not that great - Stephen Merchant gets most of the funny lines and he's only in the film for 5 minutes or so. There are long stretches where you find yourself forcing a smile rather than actually laughing at whats going on. As the Empire review says, it's hard to care about any of the characters, and the reasons we're given for them wanting to break up (would you really want a divorce because your husbands at home all day (he's a writer after all) and stuffs the rubbish down rather than empt... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Indio at 13:25, 04 February 2013 | Report This Post

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