Judd Apatow's first clear indication of comic genius was "The 40 year Old Virgin" which he directed and produced. He came back in the same capacity in "Knocked Up" and with much success.


He turned the director's seat over to Nicholas Stoller in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" which brought back Jason Segel in a hilarious role, but also brought Russell Brand into the Apatow circle. Stoller worked again with Apatow and Brand in the riotous "Get Him to the Greek".


Now Apatow (as producer), Stoller (as director) and Segel (in the lead) team once again for "The Five Year Engagement". Oh, what joy! This team works so well together.

Emily Blunt, who worked with Segel on "The Muppets" with great success, joins the team as Apatow takes another look at the romantic comedy.


Violet Barnes (Blunt) and Tom Solomon (Segel) meet at a costume party as Princess Diane and Super Bunny (a character that only Segel could get away with).


They almost instantly fall in love, move in together and enjoy a relationship filled with lots of sex. The next step is marriage, naturally. So... Tom proposes and Violet accepts.


This makes both families happy, specifically the grand parents who feared they might die before witnessing the marriage. Their deaths actually become a cute on-going gag.

The plans are interrupted when Violet is offered a position at the University of Michigan conducting research psychology with a crack team. It's a position that will surely only last a year, then they can come back to LA and get married.


As the supportive fiance, Tom agrees to leave his solid position as chef at a prominent restaurant to accompany her to Ann Arbor Michigan. Of course, it is a completely different environment in Michigan in every way: weather, people and culinary. He ultimately joins the staff of a sandwich shop after being laughed out of every other restaurant in the city.


The one year offer becomes extended and, subsequently their weeding plans further delayed. During his time, his best friend Alex (Chris Pratt) - a true horndog - meets Violet's sister Suzie (Alison Brie), marries her and settles into a solid marriage. The couple least likely to!


More events happen that lead to the usual rom-com sequence.

In between there are some serious laugh-out-loud moment (the sweater scenes are bust-a-gut funny as are the deer hunting scenes). This is the Apatow product we remember. Forget his last venture "Wanderlust" that is still waiting for a laugh.


Segel is perfect with his innocent boyish face and Blunt is perfect in a British kind of way. Stoller demonstrates he can handle a cast and handle multiple locations (like he did in both "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Get Him to the Greek"). Though it bogs down in the same get serious spot most rom-coms do, it comfortably falls back on one of the on-going gags to keep the laughs coming.


"The Five Year Engagement" is exactly what we expect from the Judd Apatow/Nick Stoller combination - laughs and more laughs. It will get your laugh on just like Apatow's "Bridesmaids" in 2011.   -- GEOFF BURTON