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Film / Leap Year

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A 2010 Romantic Comedy starring Amy Adams.

Uptight Bostonian Anna (Adams) travels to Ireland hoping to propose to her boyfriend (Adam Scott) because according to Irish tradition a woman can propose to a man on February 29 during a leap year and said boyfriend happens to be attending a convention in Dublin. Unfortunately bad weather forces her plane to divert to Wales and when she tries to reach Ireland by boat she ends up dropped off at Dingle (about as far away from Dublin as you can get while still being in Ireland). She ends up hiring local innkeeper Declan (Matthew Goode) to drive her to Dublin so she can get there by the 29th. Hilarity Ensues.

Also stars John Lithgow as Anna's father.

For the unrelated 1921 film, see here. If you're looking for the trope about the 29th of February, see Leap Day.


This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Altar the Speed: Bordering on Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage (Jeremy proposed to Anna so that it would be easier to them to get the house they wanted).
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • Anna takes a boat from Wales to Cork, but is forced ashore at Dingle, which is further away than Cork. Also, Cork would be a much better choice during a storm due to it being one of the world's largest sheltered harbours.
    • Dingle is actually a thriving modern tourist hub, not the rural backwater of the film.
    • It would only take an afternoon to drive the four hours to Dublin from Dingle. Less if Declan just dropped her off at the closeby Kerry airport now that the weather is better - it's only a one hour flight!
    • Several of the landmarks in the film depicted as very close together are actually extremely far apart in reality. In one hilarious example near the end of the film, Anna apparently walks from Dingle to Dún Aonghasa in minutes... an archaeological site that is 100km away and on an island.
  • Blunt "Yes": At the wedding party. A more "serious" example than usual, as it sets up a revelation about Declan:
    Declan: I hate weddings.
    Anna: Why? Because people are in love? — That's so offensive to you...?
    Declan: Yeah.
  • Celtic Mythology: When they visit the castle's ruins, Declan tells Anna the story of Diarmuid and Grainne.
  • Chekhov's Gag: As they walk up to the castle, Declan challenges Anna about what she would grab if her apartment were on fire. It's Played for Laughs as another example of their banter, but it eventually serves a dramatic purpose for both Declan and Anna.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Declan, in spades. He shamelessly enters Anna's room when she's changing and checks her out through the see-through shower curtain... But he's always around to help her out of her predicament. Particularly when he defends her honor against the rascals who stole her suitcase.
  • Comforting Comforter: When Anna wakes up on the bench, she sees that Declan has given her his coat as a blanket. When she rises, she places it tenderly across his body.
  • Daddy's Girl: The Deleted Scenes delve into Anna's relationship with her father a lot more than what we see in the movie, and they are shown to be quite close, for all the dad's bumblings.
  • The Ditz: While Anna's shown as a capable decorator and organizer, she is kind of an airhead when it comes to "street smarts."
  • Epic Fail:
    • Anna's attempt to plug her phone charger into the hard to reach outlet results in the room falling apart... And then the inn itself starting to fall apart... And then a blackout of the entire town. Declan ends up charging her for the vandalism.
    • This continues to happen to our girl as the movie goes on — from her causing the car to roll back and down and crash, to her running to a train in the rain, tripping, and tumbling and landing face-down.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Declan uses this word for word in a coin toss to decide which of the two get the bed whilst sharing a room. It takes Anna a while, but she eventually realizes she's been tricked.
  • Hollywood Atlas: Anna sets off by boat from Cardiff, aiming for Cork, even though she actually wants to go to Dublin. A storm forces the boat to put in Dingle, which requires you to sail straight past Cork (consult a map of Ireland).
  • Innocently Insensitive: Anna's boyfriend Jeremy isn't a bad sort, per se... he just has no clue whatsoever about how Anna feels about his approaches to their relationship. Gets to the point where He nonchalantly tells people at their engagement party what drove him to finally propose, with no regard for how Anna, who's right there, would take it.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Averted. Juuust when we think drunk Anna is going to kiss Declan on the beach in the moonlight... She pukes all over his shoes.
  • Love Epiphany: Both played straight and Inverted. Anna's romantic conflict is resolved by her Secret Test of Character for Jeremy. She discovers he truly doesn't value her above everything else... And that her heart truly belongs to Declan.
  • Mood Whiplash: As they check out the castle ruins, Declan tells Anna a beautifully romantic Irish legend. When he gets to the end, they share a warm look... And then, Beat, and Anna snaps out of it and accuses him of hitting on her.
    • Even more so, a moment later the train whistle causes a panic in our girl...
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The fact that it's a leap year and February 28 is a Sunday means the film, released in 2010 (and seemingly based on Irish stereotypes from the 1970s) is set in 2016.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Anna tells Declan to take a shower because he smells, Declan replies that you can see through the curtain. Anna scoffs and says "Can you?" Declan smiles... Cue Anna's smirk vanishing to a horrified "Can you?!"
  • Oireland: Played absurdly straight. Offensively so. Even uses the phrase "Top of the Mornin' to You" unironically.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Some people thought Matthew Goode was doing a great Welsh accent (he's supposedly from Kerry).
  • Opposites Attract: Refined (if ditzy), uptight fashionista Anna and slobby, aimless Declan.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Declan teases Anna with a moment of this, when they're trying to decide who gets the bed. He claims it, and:
    Anna: Very gallant.
    Declan: "Gallant!" Welcome to the Age... of Equality. You lot wanted the vote. Live with it. (Plops on the bed)
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: Declan shamelessly walking in on poor Anna while she's changing. Repeatedly.
  • Ruritania: Every part of Ireland outside of Dublin, despite ostensibly being set in the present day. While some of the less extreme stereotypes might still be found in remote villages, rest assured that in the 2010s it is in fact possible to plug in your mobile phone uneventfully in the thriving tourist town of Dingle.
  • She's Got Legs: Discussed when they arrive in Dublin, and Anna suggests getting a cab:
    Declan: Oh, you got legs, haven't you, woman?
    Anna: My best features, or so I'm told.
    Declan: (Takes a glance) Who told you that?
    Anna: (Smiles)
  • Shirtless Scene: Declan in the bathroom, with the door open. Anna's so (smilingly) Distracted by the Sexy that she (literally) bumps into a door.
  • Shout-Out: Probably just a coincidence that Princess Giselle would be checking out a castle. Anna even dryly asks if Declan's trying to say she's the princess in the story he tells her.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Poor Anna! Steps in manure and later tumbles down a hill until she's face down in mud!
  • Sleep Cute: Twice. First when they fall asleep on the bench, Anna's head pillowed on Declan's lap. Then again right after on the bus with her head on his shoulder.
  • Those Two Guys: The two old codgers who constantly bicker over exactly what constitutes good or bad luck.


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