AUSTIN, Texas -- As filmmaking partners go, they make strange bedfellows: Dan Mazer, writer of ribald Sacha Baron Cohen satires "Borat" and "Bruno," and Working Title, the British production company behind breezy romantic comedies "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Love Actually," have partnered on a new and unconventional entry in the date-night genre.
"I Give It a Year," which makes its North American premiere Saturday at the South by Southwest Film Festival, begins where most romantic comedies end--with the fairy tale wedding of its protagonists, type-A advertising executive Nat (Rose Byrne) and loafing writer Josh (Rafe Spall). Rather than building up to a romantic climax, Nat and Josh seem to be devolving from one, amid nitpicky fights, familial judgments and a pair of extramarital distractions played by Anna Faris and Simon Baker.
"The everyday annoyances of married life can become overwhelming," said Mazer, who is making his directorial debut. "I wanted to do a comedy about realities. So many rom-coms are neither particularly romantic nor comedic, just some far-fetched story about a dipsy PR girl and an Australian sheep farmer."
The film takes many of the obligatory romantic comedy tropes -- the awkward wedding toast, the rain-soaked epiphany, the last-minute dash for a train -- and subverts them, as its characters become increasingly disenchanted with each other.