Imagine the classic 1934 Clark Gable/Claudette Colbert road movie romance It Happened One Night with all the wit, spontaneity and charm sucked out of it. That’s Leap Year. Director Anand Tucker (Red Riding: 1983, And When Did You Last See Your Father?) should be weeping into his Guinness over this joyless, laugh-free embarrassment of a movie.
Leap Year smacks of Hollywood desperation from the outset, hanging on the purportedly well-known Irish tradition that a woman is allowed to propose to her man on the 29th February. After Anna’s (Amy Adams) boyfriend misses a tailor-made opportunity to propose then heads off to the Emerald Isle on business, she decides to follow him there and do the deed herself. But bad weather foils Anna’s carefully-laid travel plans, leaving her stranded at the wrong end of the country with no choice but to accept a lift from a grumpy yet ruggedly handsome local (Matthew Goode).
There are comparably bad recent rom-coms – the execrable 27 Dresses springs to mind – but the thing that particularly grates about Leap Year (after Devon-born Goode’s horrific Irish accent) is the soulless, machine-like construction of it all.
General release from Fri 26 Feb.