Like many films that come from the Judd Apatow factory, The Five-Year Engagement stars Jason Segel. Like most Apatow-produced films, it features outrageous physical humor (in this case, a crossbow bolt through the thigh). And like all Apatow-produced films, it is a bit too long. But that might play better on the small screen: Director Nicholas Stoller (who co-wrote with Segel) doesn't seem to want to say good-bye to his characters, so it might seem, at home, more like a short marathon of TV episodes.
Segel and Emily Blunt play a couple whose wedding keeps being postponed due to the stratospheric progress of her career, requiring the couple to move from glamorous San Francisco to ... Michigan. (I mean, it's Ann Arbor, the coolest city in the state, but still — hard winters!) Segel is unsurprisingly adept at playing a basically good guy who lets himself go when his ambitions are stifled, and Blunt is as funny as she is luminous. Also: Chris Pratt and Alison Brie are so charming in their supporting roles that you may just turn off the movie and switch to one or the other of their sitcoms on Netflix, imagining future crossovers for their characters.
I had been a music snob for what seemed like a long time when LCD Soundsystem's debut single, "Losing My Edge," came out in 2002. I found it incredibly easy to identify with James Murphy's freaked-out, aging narrator and his complaints about the Internet generation's easy access to and superficial knowledge of every cultural artifact that came before them. How dare those kids come for our Can CDs and Modern Lovers records and No Wave compilations and avant-garde jazz tapes! Didn't they know that tracking down obscure reissues and cataloging arcane musical genres was our life's work?
Ten years and 20 billion torrents later, I have heavily revised my stance, just as it has become clear to me that in 2002 I was very much an exemplary kid coming up from behind to politely ask James Murphy if I could browse through his record crates. Although it stands as an indelible snapshot of the transition into the music blog era, and its dance punk sound remains remarkably fresh, the specifics of what James Murphy is talking about in "Losing My Edge" transcends time periods.
The feeling of being displaced in power and position by a new class of younger strangers is universal. Striving to be cool turns into struggling to stay relevant. In order to maintain perfect cred forever you can either try to go out early on a high note, or hang on long enough that you willfully buck the changing of trends. In the best-case scenario you turn out to be the next Neil Young.
It's a very fitting name, considering the length of time I've been here (six days), and the amount of time I have left (five days). While many a friend, old and new, has arrived, spent a few days here working and partying, and headed back home to continue with their real lives, I'm still putzing around, passing out unsolicited advice while investigating the quality of public schools in my hotel's school district. As the Interactive portion has officially wrapped up and the Music crowd has stormed in with reckless abandon over the past 24 hours, I have done everything in my power to be that homely guy on the corner who gives directions to people who already have maps, talks loudly about how different Austin was in early March, and walks with his arms out in front of his body, yelling, "LOOK AT ALL THE WRISTBANDS ON MY ARM."
It took 24.9 years, but I think I've finally found my home.