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Emily Blunt and Jason Segel are slowly becoming two of Hollywood’s favorites. The duo is winning the hearts of audiences everywhere, but this process has been in the making for quite some time. Segel began his ascent in 1999 with his role on the cult show, Freaks and Geeks, but he really made his mark when he joined the cast of How I Met Your Mother, one of the most more successful shows on the past decade, in 2005. His success continued as he made a smooth transition into film with a number of notable roles. Blunt has followed the same path beginning in 2006 and continues to garner distinguished roles to add to her filmography. Now in honor of the duo’s newest film, The Five-Year Engagement, I am reviewing what made us fall under the spell of this witty brit and the former Freaks and Geeks star.
Meryl Streep commands the screen as a New York city magazine editor, but Miss Emily Blunt doesn’t let her masquerade through the entire film unchallenged. Blunt bursts onto the screen as Streep’s feisty receptionist where she gives Anne Hathaway the basics of dealing with the worst boss in history. While it would be an overstatement to say that Blunt takes Hathaway under her wing, she does show her the ropes of the business. Blunt displays perfect comedic timing and the Foreign Press Association agreed as they gave her a Golden Globe nomination for the performance. Although this is not a starring role, the performance put Blunt on the map and paved the way for her remarkable future.
After the success of The 40 Year Old Virgin, Judd Apatow had plenty of riding on this outrageous comedy, so he had to pull out all the stops. First he went for the big names and picked up Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl for the lead roles. Then he had to nab a few actors with great comedic talent to fill out the extremely important ensemble. As a former writer/director of Freaks and Geeks, Apatow was familiar with Segel’s comedic methods and knew he would fit in well with this ensemble. Segel’s road to stardom parallels Blunt’s for while not the star of the show, he is a scene stealer that keeps you giggling long after the credits start rolling. After a number of forgettable bit parts, Knocked Up marked Segel’s first success in the film industry that soon lead to numerous other roles in comedies.
One of the best ways to move up in the acting business is to star in your very own biopic. Actors throughout the ages, from Anthony Hopkins (Nixon) to Sissy Spacek (Coal Miner’s Daughter), starred in their own in order to establish themselves as a well-rounded actor, and it became time for this rising star to do just that. Emily Blunt may not be the first person to come to mind when you think of Queen Victoria, however, Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) chose to write a script that focused on a the iconic ruler during her early reign. The movie itself may be lacking in certain areas yet Blunt brings her A-game and gives what is arguably the best performance of her career. That is what makes her Oscar snub even more upsetting. 2009 was not a particularly strong year for woman’s yet the Academy still chose to ignore her performance. Blunt’s absence of a supporting nomination for The Devil Wears Prada can be forgiven, but this snub still stings. Hopefully we shall see her get the nomination she truly deserves in the near future.
After playing the bridesmaid for years, Jason Segel finally got his chance to be the bride in his staring vehicle which he not only stars in, but wrote the screenplay for it as well. The slacker-style comedy gives us Segel, fresh out of a breakup, as he attempts to escape the memories of his ex-girlfriend (Kristen Bell) by taking a vacation to Hawaii. Unfortunately this plan does not work as well as he hoped for Bell also plans a tropical getaway at the same resort. We get plenty of absurd situational comedy and one of the best comedic ensembles in quite some time. Segel executes the humor perfectly in his screenplay and gives the hilarious cast plenty to work with. His hit screenplay was not a fluke either with his writing in Get Him to the Greek and The Muppets getting praise so let’s see if his latest screenplay for The Five-Year Engagement will turn out just as well.
Staying on the dramatic course, Emily Blunt joined Matt Damon as the love interest in this hit romantic sci-fi flick. Immediately when the two step on screen together, the chemistry is obvious. In the film, Damon has an accidental meeting with Blunt in the men’s bathroom, and turns what was supposed to be a one time meeting into a serious love interest. This does not go well with a group of mysterious men who insist that the two are not meant to be together. The group men turn out to be fate itself and are attempting to correct the course of events that Damon has unfolded. Think of a romantic Inception. Damon and Blunt portray a touching romance which takes an overall mediocre movie and transforms it into a memorable and enjoyable experience. While no Oscar would be given for this role, we still get a great performance from an even greater actress.
The film that no one thought could. Skepticism of every kind plagued this film from the moment the project was announced. People in the film world doubted that bringing characters from the 80s back to big screen would result in one of the biggest flops of the year. Au contraire, this family flick went on the be one of best reviewed movies of the year with around a $90 million gross at the box office. Our favorite muppets were brilliant as usual, but the film would not have been the same were it not for Amy Adams and of course, Jason Segel. The duo guides audiences through one hilarious scenario to the next, all while showing off their unique comedic abilities. Segel also gets the chance to present his noteworthy singing voice during the many songs in the film. Thank goodness this film turned out well, I missed the muppets and am unbelievably happy that they are back at the top of their game.
The Five-Year Engagement premieres next Friday, April 27th, and it looks like we’re in for a treat. Both actors continue to please and somehow with each new movie of theirs they become that much more likable. Just in case you miss the film next week you can check Segel out in This Is 40, a film that chronicles the lives of Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann a few years after Knocked Up, and we get even more of Blunt who will star in the much anticipated thriller, Looper, as well as the dramedy, Arthur Newman, Golf Pro. I look forward to seeing much more of these two and will definitely be at the premiere next week. You should check it out too. Happy moviegoing!