I Give It a Year
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|I Give It a Year|
UK release poster
|Directed by||Dan Mazer|
|Produced by||Tim Bevan
|Written by||Dan Mazer|
|Music by||Ilan Eshkeri|
|Edited by||Tony Cranstoun|
Magnolia Pictures (USA)
|Running time||97 minutes|
I Give It a Year is a 2013 British comedy film, written and directed by Dan Mazer and starring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris and Simon Baker. The film was based and filmed in London and was released on 8 February 2013.
Ambitious high-flyer Nat (Rose Byrne) and struggling writer Josh (Rafe Spall) fall in love at first sight at a party. After 6 months together they decide to marry. The film highlights their struggles during their first year of marriage, switching back and forth from flashbacks of the year's action to a counselor's office. Their wedding goes as planned despite many friends' comments that the marriage will not last, an embarrassing best man's speech, and a coughing priest.
When Nat returns to work after the honeymoon, she's embarrassed when Josh calls her during an important conversation to tell her she is sexy and that he misses her. She hangs up abruptly on him, and he goes back to lounging around the house attempting to get over his writer's block. Later, the two meet with their solicitor to discuss how to handle medical crises (last wishes). Nat becomes annoyed at Josh: knowing she would be late, he told her the wrong time to be there, and thanks to his trickery she actually turned up early.
The couple throw a dinner party to use their wedding gifts. Some of their differences are highlighted when they talk about their honeymoon: Nat didn't enjoy the leather museum; Josh remembers it as interesting. When the topic changes to Josh's former flame Chloe, Nat discovers that the two never officially broke up when she departed for 4 years in Africa. In the kitchen, Chloe apologizes to Nat for not knowing that she didn't know. The women talk about the constrictions of marriage. Nat's sister Naomi has issues with her own husband's annoying habits. Josh's best man Dan asks Chloe out after hinting at sexual advances.
The following day, Nat and her co-workers make fun of their new client, Guy Harrap, the new owner of a bleach company. They believe he will be a stereotypical American who thinks the British are "quaint". They do not realize that their client has been sitting right there in the same café. Before the meeting, one co-worker steals Nat's wedding ring, believing that the account will have a better chance of success if she appears single. During the meeting, Guy, deliberately fulfills their expectations of him: speaking in a brash American way, asking for high-fives and casual fist-bumps, asking Nat to repeat certain words he finds amusing, and doing a crude Austin Powers impression. Then when they focus on business talk, he switches to his true self, embarrassing the women for their earlier stereotyping. As he and Nat exit the boardroom, she apologizes for their misjudgment of him, and he says they should get better acquainted for the sake of the account. Feeling the attraction between them, she struggles with telling him she's married, then ends up leaving without telling him.
Josh talks to Chloe about his book while she's working at a charity office. He invites her to dinner because Nat's going to a work party that night. Chloe declines, saying she's going out with Charlie, whom she's been dating recently.
The scene returns to the counselor's office as the two explain that the realities of marriage do not live up to the fairytale expectation they both had. Their counselor turns out to be rather unprofessional.
Josh sits at home watching television, unable to focus on his writing; meanwhile, Nat's out jogging. At work, Nat receives a large bouquet of roses from Guy. The couple face difficulties dealing with the small differences in their way of living: Josh leaving the toilet seat up, Nat's inability to sing the right words to popular songs, different definitions of the rubbish bin being full.
Guy shows Nat around one of the factories he owns, where one of his longest-serving workers expresses approval of her. Guy explains that he basically grew up in the factory during his childhood summers. Nat comments that she's not the marrying type, still unable to tell Guy she's married.
Nat tries to discourage Josh from accompanying her to a work party, but he is determined; though she makes excuses and becomes irritated, he succeeds in accompanying her. Unfortunately, he makes a fool of himself with embarrassing dancing, and standing next to a poster he can joke about during the night. When he approaches Nat while she's talking with Guy, she still doesn't reveal that he is her husband, and Guy attempts to shake him off, assuming he's an unwanted menace. Guy asks her to dinner and Nat declines. Incredibly annoyed at Josh for embarrassing her at the party, she heads home without him.
Meanwhile, Chloe and Charlie attend a boring dinner party, then leave early to adjourn to Charlie's apartment. As they kiss on the bed, Chloe's co-worker Alexandra joins them and Chloe finds herself in an awkward threesome. Feeling too silly to continue, Chloe eventually leaves. The next morning she calls Josh to tell him about it, and he soon turns up at her apartment with coffee and her favorite sweets to cheer her up.
Chloe and Josh then go Christmas-shopping. Josh wants to get casserole dishes for Nat, but they end up at a lingerie shop with Josh uncomfortably trying to make conversation with the shop assistant amongst the shop's expensive contents.
When Nat meets with Guy at his hotel to discuss their business deal, she refuses several times to go to his actual hotel room, even when enticed by "kittens playing adorably with a ball of wool". He mentions that he has booked a conference room down the hall, but when Nat enters she finds a romantic dinner complete with doves and a violinist. When Guy makes advances, she finally blurts out that she's married and can't leave her husband because it would destroy him. She says Guy is like an excitement-promising Ferrari and Josh is a like a safe, dependable Volvo. She manages to remove herself from Guy and his offer of a relationship.
Back at the lingerie shop, Chloe calls Josh into her dressing room to help her with a caught hook and while he's assisting her, they venture into a kiss but Josh breaks away apologetically. Chloe apologizes in turn, and Josh buys the lingerie she tried on for Nat.
There is crosscutting between Nat and Guy and Chloe and Josh on separate streets until they meet at the corner for an uncomfortable exchange. Josh compliments Guy's attributes and refuses to believe that he was left alone at the previous night's party. He suggests that Chloe and Guy get together; Guy proposes that the four of them go out together.
Back to the present in the counselor's office: Nat explains that they hit a low point around the Christmas period, commenting that her husband's family are weird - in particular his mother. Josh retaliates that Nat's family were not overly friendly towards him.
A Christmas game of charades illuminates this: trying to mime "Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman", Josh embarrassingly relating the word "Quinn" to "quim" and offends Nat's grandmother by thrusting his arms at the groins of the women in the room. As they further describe the situation to the counselor, Josh says that Nat's stepfather made him sleep in a small bunk bed as "punishment" for this and he slept poorly there. Nat retaliates that her sleep was no better at his parents' house, thanks to what she was forced to overhear above the room in which she was placed. Josh claims that Nat's parents have a clearly negative view of him, giving him books titled "How to be a Successful Writer" and "Stop Wasting Your Life". In the counselor's office Nat comments that her family hates him, and his gets under her skin. This is highlighted again in an awkward scene in which sexual photos are intermingled with pictures of the couple's honeymoon being displayed on their newly gifted digital photoframe. Josh unsuccessfully attempts to stop Nat's parents from seeing the images. Leaving her parents' house, Nat confronts Naomi about why she stays with her husband; they clearly hate each other. She says that they both "embrace the hatred" and that's what marriage is about. Even though she admits there could be something better out there for her, she ultimately loves her husband, the two remaining happy together.
Nat and Josh have a conversation about his suggestion of Chloe dating Guy. The two talk about the prospects of both of them as romantic interests. The four meet for dinner, and spend the evening playing pool. Chloe and Guy seem to hit it off, happily competing against Nat and Josh. Nat becomes more frustrated with Josh attempting to teach her how to play properly, as well as with her growing jealousy towards Chloe, who can play well. They leave the bar, and Nat asks Guy to talk about packaging details, intending to meet Josh back at their flat afterwards. Chloe and Josh depart together, while Nat and Guy go the other direction. After a moment, Nat passionately kisses Guy, resulting in the ripping of the underwear bought for her by Josh.
Meanwhile, Josh attempts to discourage Chloe's attraction to Guy, and she confronts him about the difficulty with them seeing one another. She admits she is still in love with him and then leaves in a taxi, insistent that they cannot see each other anymore.
When Nat returns home, she and he husband talk about their relationship. After 9 months, they decide to get help instead of giving up on their marriage. This leads us back to the counselor's office, who ultimately advises them to try and make it to the year marker.
The couple then put up with each other's quirks over the next few months, eventually making it to their anniversary. Nat brings out the same expensive lingerie for the special occasion, and struggles to do it up because of two broken hooks. Josh leaves the flat, telling Nat he's remembered he has to do something and that he will meet her at the restaurant. He races to Chloe's apartment, only to find that she is heading off in a cab with Guy, whom she embraces lovingly. Nat is meanwhile contemplating phoning Guy. She then decides to go to the restaurant, where her friends and family are there waiting to surprise the couple. After failing to contact her husband, Nat sits down. She discovers that her friends didn't think her marriage would last.
Josh makes it to the restaurant party, and tells Nat that he thinks she is the perfect wife, but just not for him. He asks her for a divorce and she immediately and delightedly agrees. The couple rejoice at the situation, and immediately leave the party to pursue their love interests.
Meanwhile, Guy and Chloe are at the train station waiting to go to Paris on a romantic trip. Josh finds them and professes his love for Chloe. When it's discovered that he split up with Nat, the two are shocked. Nat appears behind Josh, obviously heading for Guy, but Josh awkwardly assumes he is the one she wants to speak to. After a short exchange they happily discuss how perfect Guy and Chloe are for them. In the end, Chloe and Guy mutually break up. Nat ends up kissing Guy and Chloe shares a kiss with Josh.
- Rose Byrne as Natasha "Nat" Redfern
- Rafe Spall as Joshua "Josh" Moss
- Anna Faris as Chloe
- Simon Baker as Guy Harrap
- Stephen Merchant as Dan
- Minnie Driver as Naomi
- Jason Flemyng as Hugh
- Olivia Colman as Linda
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