Thursday, 27 June 2013

I Give It A Year

I Give It A Year is a new film about some really awful people, realistically drawing attention to the fact that even the nicest guy is, not always, but most probably just being nice so you don’t realise that he is in fact a 12 gauge prick.


*Avast, ahead ye be spoilers*

The film’s intro credits start off demonstrating the grotesque way we behave in the first few months of a passionate affair.  When brain breaks down and allows us to forget ourselves, and behave abnormally under the guise of delusional optimism and genuine happiness.  The healthy dose of self-awareness and shame that we have all had drilled into us by determined but underachieving parents, teachers, friends and colleagues throughout our lives gets tossed aside for a seemingly endless period of kissing, terrible jokes, distancing of close friends and relatives and for some reason writing notes.

The problem with this kind of evolutionary backfiring is that once we have peeled our faces off the mouth of our individual significant others, we have to actually start talking and listening to each other.  This can often lead to disappointment and most couples cast aside listening in exchange for having a pair of monologues occurring at the same time, sometimes in the same room or building.


I Give It A Year is based after those few months, the lusty rose tinted sunshine has thus departed and been replaced by a hailstorm to the frozen eye balls of reality.  In this case the suddenly sobered couple are Josh (Rafe Spall) and Nat (Rose Byrne).

The ball starts rolling with the pair of truly detestable individuals mere moments from being assigned the government and church approved titles of ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’. Unfortunately the Vicar doing the marrying has just had a flick through the script and plot and started choking uncontrollably, barely able to offer any of his lines out of life threatening depression.  The whole scene is ‘intentionally awkward’ and therefore genuinely awkward in a different way and is topped off by someone uttering the title of the film, in what I can only pray was a decision of irony on part of the director/script writer.

Stephen Merchant comes out and gives a truly amusing speech as the best man, but the whole thing stinks of him begging to be included in the film, so they crowbarred him in as a favour to Ricky Gervais.  His impossibly autistic social awareness is used to break tension by introducing a whole different wave of tension.  The whole film is tearing you between a shit version of curb your enthusiasm style humour and the depressive memories of relationships falling apart in front of your eyes.


In short the whole plot is like a propaganda film for wife swapping communities, as Josh and Nat both fall in love with two other people, (Chloe and the truly charming ‘Guy’). As Josh and Nat watch their relationship fall apart they convince Chloe and Guy to start dating, then at the last minute the men decide to ‘give away their women’.  Mix the whole thing in with some mid 90’s cringe-porn humour, splash in a couple of supporting actors from successful British sitcoms and there you have it.

The only really entertaining bit for me was the Tim Key’s character talking through the events that would have to occur before Josh and Nat would commit euthanasia on each other.  Just imagining them both dying alone, frightened and confused in a hospital bed really helped to lighten the mood.

It’s actually watchable though but it has you walking the tri-directional tightrope between giggling, cringing and suicide pretty much the whole way through.  Perfect for fans of ‘I love you, man’ and ‘Requiem For A Dream’.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast



I Give It A Year at CeX



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