It must be a lovely time to be Alison Brie.
No matter what happens with “Community,” the show definitely has an audience that loves it and is passionate about it, myself included. And “Mad Men” returned this year after an unusually long hiatus and appears to have quickly reestablished its place at the center of pop culture. Now, with “The Five Year Engagement,” she’s also on thousands of movie screens this weekend.
She co-stars here as Suzie, sister to Violet (Emily Blunt), one of the leads of the film. One of the ways Stoller and Jason Segel, the film’s star and co-writer, illustrate the frustration of the prolonged engagement in the film is by etching in the details of a separate relationship where things move at a totally different pace. Suzie ends up with Alex (Chris Pratt), and we see them start a family and start to evolve into real adults, and while they don’t have a ton of screen time, they do a good job of showing some real growth as time passes.
For Brie, this is one of her biggest movie roles so far. She’s also in “Save The Date,” a charming romantic comedy I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and she’s still somehow working on both of her TV shows as well. Even so, there’s an audience that will be seeing her in “The Five-Year Engagement” that may not be familiar with her yet, and I’m betting that doesn’t last long. Each of the roles I’ve seen her in so far, she’s been very different. She doesn’t have one character she’s sort of playing variations on. Instead, she vanishes into whatever she’s doing. When I think of her on “Community,” that’s a totally different person than who she plays on “Mad Men,” and it seems like she transforms though the small details. She’s speaking with an English accent in “Five Year,” and we talked a bit about how she prepared for playing Emily Blunt’s sister in our chat.
I had my sons with me on the day I was interviewing the cast of this film, and my youngest referred to Brie as “the princess lady” after the interview. You hear that, Disney? When you finally make that “Enchanted” sequel, maybe Brie could show up as a sister to Giselle. Then again, if she keeps doing work as good as she’s doing these days, she won’t be playing the sister parts for long.
“The Five Year Engagement” opens tomorrow.