I Give it a Year is a tired stab at a Brit rom-com

FILM
I GIVE IT A YEAR
Cert: 15
*

What could be worse than sitting through the wedding of two selfish and incompatible people that you don’t know or like? I can tell you: sitting through the aftermath – having to watch as the marriage dies a slow death at the hands of petty, bin-related domestic disputes, feuds with the in-laws and built up resentments.

High powered ad exec Nat (Rose Byrne) and failing writer Josh (Rafe Spall) get married in the first ten minutes of I Give it a Year, before gradually and simultaneously realising that they’re both in love with other people. Don’t be fooled, though, the superficially unconventional set up still leads to a nauseatingly sentimental climax.

Writer-director Dan Mazer claims to have “subverted” the wedding rom-com, but a series of clichés in reverse order is still a series of clichés. Inappropriate best man speech? Check. Inept man buying lingerie for his girlfriend? Check. Airport reunion? Check. Ensemble of sex-obsessed friends? Check.

The unoriginality of the writing is matched by the ineptitude of the acting (save for an overly brief cameo from Tim Key). Rafe Spall is supposed to be an attractive, down on his luck creative type in the mould of Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, but his character more closely resembles Jez from Peep Show.

The characters are unpleasant, the jokes aren’t funny and the soundtrack includes Snow Patrol. The experience brought to mind some kind of awful interrogation technique: not only was I being tortured, I was also being subjected to loud, offensive music designed to disorientate and chip away at morale.

Some of the “edgier” material could only have been justified by an underlying goodheartedness that was glaringly absent. In the end it is a badly written, badly acted farce, spluttering sexual assault jokes into a silent screening room.