Leap Year

Leap Year

Directed by Anand Tucker. Starring Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott, John Lithgow, Noel O'Donovan, Kaitlin Olson. (2010, PG, 97 min.)

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Jan. 8, 2010

There may be more masochistic ways to spend this coming box-office weekend than by taking in a matinee of Brit director Tucker's soulless, Lifetime-lite flibbertigibbet of a movie, but for once I'm at a loss to think of any. Leap Year is a desperately unfunny depiction of a Boston society-girl wannabe who, blanching and distressed in the face of yet another nonproposal from her cardiologist beau (Scott), secretly follows the ungroom in question to Ye Auld Eire with plans to ensnare him on the titular date (according to some arcane leprechaunic lore, it's doable in Dublin). This film is unquestionably the most unromantic and downright despairing rom-com since Made of Honor or, possibly, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Anna (Adams) is coiffed and costumed to resemble an uptown cross between The Quiet Man-era Maureen O'Hara and vintage Nicole Kidman, but the character is ill-flavored with a sort of ugly-American perkiness that sets your nerves on edge and makes you wonder in all seriousness if Tucker isn't employing some sort of wickedly dry, highly unsubtle cultural critique on both the U.S. and Ireland. This is not as farfetched an idea as it sounds: Tucker helmed the (presumably final) installment of the perverse and inspired Yorkshire Ripper-noir trilogy Red Riding: 1983 for BBC Four as well as the considerably more subversive romantic comedy Shopgirl back in 2005. Leap Year, however, neither perverts nor subverts much of anything. It is instead a perfect template for rom-com mediocrity, from its cookie-cutter script (courtesy of Made of Honor's Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan) to the stupendously absent electricity between Adams and her coy Irish rover boy (Goode). It's rarely a good sign when Flogging Molly shows up on the soundtrack before even the first act is out, nor does it inspire confidence in a film when the great Lithgow appears early on, his character besozzled in good old Boston-Irish cliché, and receives only four lines of dialogue before vanishing from the rest of the film. I realize Christmas has ghosted past already, but baby, it's cold outside and colder still in the calculating, cruddy faux Ireland onscreen, and so to Leap Year I can only offer canned Scroogeisms: Bah O'humbug.

More Anand Tucker Films
Red Riding: 1983
This final film in the three-part series affords a great deal of satisfaction in resolving the plot’s many mysteries.

Kimberley Jones, March 26, 2010

When Did You Last See Your Father?
Based on British poet Blake Morrison’s written memoir, this film is a very particular yet universal story about the eternal knot between fathers and sons.

Marjorie Baumgarten, July 4, 2008

More by Marc Savlov
All Nighter
A father searches for his daughter with the help of her ex-boyfriend

March 24, 2017

T2 Trainspotting
The sequel to the 1996 classic

March 24, 2017


Leap Year, Anand Tucker, Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott, John Lithgow, Noel O'Donovan, Kaitlin Olson

This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)