I saw Leap Year at a screening before the holidays, and found it much more “enchanting” than the typical romantic comedy. The story line is simple - basically, it is “It Happened One Night” in Ireland: apartment “stager” Amy Adams, tired of waiting for her uptight, longtime boyfriend to propose, decides to meet him on business in Dublin on Leap Day when tradition states that a man must accept a woman’s proposal. Weather forces her to be diverted, first to Wales and then to the west coast of Ireland, she has to be driven to Dublin by and disgruntled bitter local.
But while the story is straight-ahead, the movie is extremely charming due to the terrific chemistry in between Amy Adams and Matthew Good. Whereas other romantic comedies pander to the lowest common denominator with base humor, this one feels much more like “4 Weddings and a Funeral” or “Local Hero.” The characters seem simple at first, but we see the depth beyond them as the movie goes on. The comedy is always sharp, and special kudos to the actors who play the superstitious friends of Matthew Good, but this movie never forces in the pratfalls and dumb jokes that we see in your typical romantic comedy movie. And when there a bigger laughs (a scene at a wedding is particularly funny), the movie delivers.
There are a couple of slow spots, especially at the very beginning, but the last 20 minutes are funny, touching and real. I think it is a very good movie for our times right now, with a message that rebukes control and superficiality and all the trappings of what most of feel makes for a successful life. And our audience was with it throughout, and applauded at the end.