Leap Year (2010 film)

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Leap Year
Leap year poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAnand Tucker
Produced by
Written by
Music byRandy Edelman
CinematographyNewton Thomas Sigel
Edited byNick Moore
Distributed byUniversal Pictures (United States)[1]
Optimum Releasing (UK and Ireland)[2]
Release date
  • January 8, 2010 (2010-01-08) (United States)
  • February 26, 2010 (2010-02-26) (United Kingdom)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$19 million[3][4]
Box office$32.6 million[4]

Leap Year is a 2010 Irish-American romantic comedy film directed by Anand Tucker and written by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan. Loosely based on I Know Where I'm Going, and It Happened One Night the film stars Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.

The film follows a real estate worker who heads to Ireland to ask her boyfriend to accept her wedding proposal on leap day, when tradition supposedly holds that men cannot refuse a woman's proposal for marriage. Her plans are interrupted by a series of events and are further complicated when she hires an Irish innkeeper to take her to her boyfriend in Dublin.[5]

Principal photography took place in County Wicklow, Dublin, County Mayo, and County Galway, with filming taking place in and around the Aran Islands, Connemara, Temple Bar, Georgian Dublin, Wicklow National Park, and Olaf Street, Waterford.

Leap Year premiered in New York City on January 6, 2010 and was released theatrically on January 8, 2010 by Universal Pictures in the United States and on February 28 by Optimum Releasing in Ireland. The film received mostly negative reviews from critics, with many criticising the film’s pacing, plot and limited chemistry between Adams and Goode.


Successful real estate stager Anna Brady (Amy Adams) is frustrated that her cardiologist boyfriend Jeremy Sloane (Adam Scott) still has not proposed to her after four years. She decides to travel from Boston to Dublin, to propose to him on February 29, leap day, while he is there at a conference. Anna wishes to invoke an Irish tradition that a man who is proposed to on leap day must accept the proposal.

During the flight, a storm diverts the plane to Wales, where Anna hires a boat to take her to Cork. The severity of the storm, however, forces her to be put ashore at a small seaside village called Dingle, where she makes her way to a local tavern. Anna tries to enlist the help of Declan O'Callaghan (Matthew Goode), the surly Irish innkeeper. She requests him to taxi her across the country to Dublin. At first he refuses, but after his tavern is threatened with foreclosure, he agrees to drive her for 500. The two set out in his old beat-up car. Along the way, he makes fun of her fancy Louis Vuitton luggage, which he calls "Louie". He also mocks her belief in a leap year "tradition" of women proposing to men.

Their travel is interrupted by a herd of cows blocking the road. Anna steps in cow-dung while attempting to move the animals, and tries to clean her expensive shoes while leaning on Declan's car which causes it to roll downhill into a stream. Continuing on foot, Anna flags down a van with three travellers who offer her a lift. Ignoring Declan's warning, Anna accepts the ride and hands them her luggage. Before she can enter the van, they drive off without her. Anna and Declan eventually make their way on foot to a roadside pub, where they discover the three van thieves going through Anna's luggage. Declan fights them, displaying unexpected strength for a man of his size, and retrieves Anna's bag. Anna and Declan are ejected from the pub by the owner for fighting on the premises.

Anna and Declan reach a railway station and decide to wait for the next train. While waiting, they hike up a hill to the ruins of a nearby castle. They ask each other what they would grab if their homes were on fire and they had only 60 seconds to flee. In doing so, Declan also tells her of an old Irish legend about a young woman promised to an elderly lord that she did not love. So she gave her wedding guests a sleeping potion so she could run away with the man she does love. The legend told is loosely based on "The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne". During the story they lose track of time and miss the train. That night they are forced to stay at a local bed & breakfast at Tipperary, where they pretend to be married, taking the name "O'Brady-Callaghan" so that their conservative hosts will allow them to stay. During dinner, when other couples kiss to show their love for each other, Anna and Declan are "forced" to kiss as well. This stirs feelings that neither had expected. That night, they sleep in the same bed, but do not admit their new feelings for each other.

The next day while hitch-hiking down the road, Anna and Declan are caught in a hail-storm and take shelter in a nearby church, where a wedding is taking place. They are invited to the reception. But during the reception, Anna drinks too much. Anna begins to question her own intentions with Jeremy and realizes that she has feelings for Declan. Just as the two are about to kiss, Anna vomits and passes out. The following day they arrive in Dublin, as they make their way on foot from the bus terminal to the hotel, Declan reveals that he was once engaged but his fiancé ran off to Dublin with his mother's claddagh ring and his best friend. Anna suggests to him, now that he is in Dublin, that he should ask for his mother's ring back. When they arrive at the hotel where Jeremy is staying, Jeremy surprises Anna by proposing to her right in the lobby. Anna turns around to look at Declan just to see that he had already walked out of the hotel, and she accepts Jeremy's proposal.

At their engagement party in Boston, Anna learns that Jeremy decided to propose because he thought it was the only way to appease the co-op board of the apartment building the couple had wanted to move into at the beginning of the film. Dismayed, Anna pulls the fire alarm and waits, testing the 60-second concept she had discussed with Declan earlier. When the alarm sounds, Jeremy's instinct is to retrieve all of their electronic materials such as mobile phones, laptops, etc and shows no concern for Anna's well-being. At that moment, Anna fully realizes that there is nothing in the apartment that means anything to her, including Jeremy. Meanwhile, in Dublin, Declan retrieves his mother's claddagh ring from his ex-fiancé.

Sometime later, Anna arrives back at Caragh's Tavern in Dingle, where Declan is running his seemingly successful business, having pulled together the balance he owed to his property owner with the help of the community. She reveals to him that she has broken off her engagement to Jeremy and tells Declan that she has come to believe that all she needs/wants is right in Dingle. When she proposes that they get together, ignoring her controlling nature and saying they should not make plans, Declan heads outside. Thinking that she had been rejected, Anna rushes outside and makes her way to the edge of a nearby cliff overlooking the sea.

Declan emerges, revealing that he went out simply to retrieve his mother's claddagh ring so that he could give it to her. Taking her offer even further, Declan says he wants to make plans with her, and proposes on the cliffside. Anna happily accepts, and they are later seen in Declan's car, leaving their destination open to fate.



On October 17, 2008, it was announced that Amy Adams was to star in the film as Anna Brady.[6] On November 23, Anand Tucker signed on to direct the film, with Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan collaborating on the screenplay.[7] On February 12, 2009, it was announced that Matthew Goode would be playing the role of Declan O'Callaghan, the surly innkeeper.[8] On March 18, it was announced that Adam Scott was to play Jeremy Sloane, Anna's long time boyfriend,[9] and that Kaitlin Olson would play Libby, Anna's best friend.[10] The film was shot in County Wicklow, Dublin, County Mayo and County Galway, with filming taking place in and around the Aran Islands, Connemara, Temple Bar, Georgian Dublin, Wicklow National Park and Olaf Street, Waterford.[11] On October 19, it was announced that Randy Edelman had been chosen to compose the film's score. The decision to choose Edelman came as a surprise, as Tucker had used Barrington Pheloung for two of his previous films, Hilary & Jackie and When Did You Last See Your Father?.[12]


An audio CD soundtrack for Leap Year was released on the Varèse Sarabande record label on January 12, 2010. That album contains only the original score, composed and conducted by Randy Edelman. The musical selections that were used, and credited at the end of the film are not, available on CD. Those include:


The film opened at the American box office at number 6, with a modest US$9,202,815, behind blockbusters Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, as well as Daybreakers and It's Complicated.[13] The film's final gross of US$25,918,920 in the United States against a production budget of US$19,000,000. In addition to this, the film made US$6,688,396 in international markets, for a final worldwide gross of US$32,607,316.[4]

Leap Year was released on DVD in the United States on May 4, 2010.[14] It debuted at number 4 on the American DVD rentals chart, with a first week rental index of 56.63.[15] It placed 5th on the DVD sales chart, selling an estimated 159,843 units, and has sold almost 800,000 units in total to April 2013.[16]


On Rotten Tomatoes reports that 22% of 132 critics have given the film a positive review. The site's general consensus is that: "Amy Adams is as appealing as ever, but her charms aren't enough to keep Leap Year from succumbing to an overabundance of clichés and an unfunny script'."[17] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score out of 33 out of 100, based on 30 reviews.[18] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B on scale of A to F.[19]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times described Leap Year as a 'full-bore, PG-rated, sweet rom-com'. 'It sticks to the track, makes all the scheduled stops, and bears us triumphantly to the station'.[20] Also, Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B- stating that the film could have used more 'pizazz'.[21]

A. O. Scott of The New York Times saw it as 'so witless, charmless, and unimaginative, that it can be described as a movie only in a strictly technical sense'.[22] Richard Roeper gave it a C-, stating that it had a 'Recycled plot, lame sight gags, Leprechaun-like stock Irish characters,' adding that 'The charms of Amy Adams rescue Leap Year from Truly Awful status'.[23]

Donald Clarke of The Irish Times gave the film one star out of five, and in a scathing review, described it as 'offensive, reactionary, patronising filth' and cited the film as evidence that 'Hollywood is incapable of seeing the Irish as anything but IRA men or twinkly rural imbeciles'.[24] Paul Whitington of the Irish Independent describes the film as "grotesque and insulting paddywhackery" and says Goode is out of his depth as he "struggle[s] badly with his accent".[25] The film's lead actor Matthew Goode admitted 'I just know that there are a lot of people who will say it is the worst film of 2010' and revealed that the main reason he signed on to the film was so that he could work close to home and be able to see his girlfriend and newborn daughter.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d "Leap Year (2010)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "LUMIERE : Film: Leap Year". LUMIERE. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "Movie projector: 'Avatar' to dominate three new competitors". Los Angeles Times. January 7, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2013. Universal Pictures and its frequent partner Relativity Media bought romantic comedy "Leap Year" from financier Spyglass Entertainment for $19 million
  4. ^ a b c "Leap Year (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  5. ^ "Doesn't the cover of this Canadian duo's latest single look uncannily like the 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' poster?". The Indian Express. August 2, 2016.
  6. ^ "Amy Adams Leap Year". Pajiba.com. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (November 23, 2008). "Anand Tucker jumps at 'Leap Year'". Variety. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  8. ^ Fleming, Michael (February 12, 2009). "Matthew Goode set for 'Leap Year'". Variety. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  9. ^ "Adam Scott Joins Leap Year". Empire. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  10. ^ "Kaitlin Olson talks 'Leap Year' movie in Dublin". InEntertainment. Retrieved September 18, 2009.
  11. ^ "US Film Leap Year Starring Amy Adams In production in Ireland". Irish Film Board. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  12. ^ "Edelman scores Anand Tucker comedy". MovieScore Magazine. Retrieved October 30, 2009.
  13. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 8-10, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
  14. ^ Chris Barsanti (January 6, 2010). "Leap Year - Filmcritic.com Movie Review". Archived from the original on August 25, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  15. ^ Video Rentals: USA Weekly Top 20. IMDb. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  16. ^ Leap Year - DVD Sales. The Numbers. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  17. ^ "Leap Year (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
  18. ^ "Leap Year: Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
  19. ^ "LEAP YEAR (2010) B". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  20. ^ Roger Ebert. "Leap Year". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  21. ^ Owen Gleiberman (January 7, 2010). "Leap Year (2010)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  22. ^ Scott, A. O. (January 8, 2010). "Leap Year". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  23. ^ "Leap Year Review". RichardRoeper.com. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  24. ^ "Enough, begorrah!". The Irish Times. February 2, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010. (subscription required)
  25. ^ Paul Whitington (February 26, 2010). "Movies: Leap Year **". Independent.ie.
  26. ^ Preston, John (February 23, 2010). "Bafta Awards 2010: Matthew Goode Interview". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved May 7, 2010.

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