Fighting with the Sky

Leaping Over Leap Year

Posted on: January 23, 2010

leap-year-movie-posterSo I saw Leap Year a week or so ago.  I really like Amy Adams and even though the movie looked to be pretty predictable and cheesy (which it was), I thought I would give it a try.

But the whole premise of the movie was all about gender norms.  Anna has been dating this jerk cardiac surgeon for four years (I think) and she was expecting him to propose before he went to Dublin on a business trip.  But he didn’t.  So she decides that she is going to go to Dublin to propose to him.  Sounds fine, right?  She wants to marry this guy and if he’s not going to ask her, then she’ll ask him.  But the only reason that she is doing this is because of an old Irish tradition where a woman can propose to a man on leap day…once every four years.

It’s still pretty standard, even today, for the man to propose to the woman.  But it’s not unheard of for a woman to propose to a man.  But this movie is telling us that women are not allowed to propose to men except for one day every four years.  A man is the only one that can propose marriage because it is the man essentially “buying” the woman with a diamond ring.

And this guy that she wants to propose to really is a jerk.  He doesn’t really care about Anna (Amy Adams).  He ends up proposing to her when they finally meet up in Dublin, but it turns out that it’s only to get an apartment (the tenant committee only wants married couples living there, apparently).

So it’s really no surprise that Anna falls in love with the guy, Declan, that she hires to drive her to Dublin once she gets to Ireland.  A bunch of horrible things happen to them that, of course, bind them together and they end up falling in love and getting engaged at the end of the movie.

As with most “chick flicks,” Leap Year also promoted the idea that a woman cannot live, cannot have a complete life without a man.  As Anna is flying to Dublin and they hit some turbulence, she starts freaking out about not wanting to die before she gets engaged.  She doesn’t feel her life is complete without that ring on her finger and a husband to call her very own.  Even in the end when she realizes that she doesn’t want to marry Jeremy, the jerk cardiac surgeon, she still ends up engaged to Declan because a woman’s life is not complete without a husband.

It is a good thing that she made the decision for herself that she didn’t want to marry Jeremy and didn’t enter into a marriage that she knew she wouldn’t be happy in just because she thought it would be the “right” thing to do.  That’s a good thing.  But the movie as a whole wasn’t really promoting the idea that women should make their own decisions.  Not at all really.  Leap Year told us women that men should make all the decisions about the relationship and how fast or slow things should be taken, especially when it comes to marriage.

It was a cute movie, though.  And there were definitely some entertaining moments, especially in all the the “trouble” that Anna and Declan got themselves into on their journey to Dublin.  And staring at Matthew Goode (Declan) for an hour and a half definitely wasn’t a bad things.  I would say that if you enjoy chick flicks and Amy Adams doesn’t annoy you (like I know she does for some people), I would suggest renting it when it comes out on DVD, but I don’t really think it’s completely worth the money to see it in the theaters.  Just my suggestion.

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