I Give it a Year

September 1, 2014


In this British rom com, I’d Give it a Year explores the meaning or rather meaninglessness of marriage these days. Often the case with the contemporary paradigm of inherited institutions in film, marriage is seen as just another thing people check off of their to do list in life without actually examining why they ought to. As is noted in many walks of life, people behave like herd animals meandering through what the pens that house them in are directed towards.


Historically there was nothing physically violated were a man and woman to separate from their matrimony. What kept it together was a severe sense of duty and obligation, with the other side of the coin being the feeling of extreme shame especially on women were the marriage to fall apart. Shame being worse than death, as the Russian proverb goes, kept marriages together, compelling each half to work at making it work. Contrast this with the flippancy of frivolous divorce that has torn and lacerated emotional scars across the plains of children which have had to endure, quite literally, one of their parents cutting and running when the going gets tough.


We can note here that in the most absolute the previous world, that which did not inherit industrial bounty, was a more spiritual one. Man had no choice but to celebrate his struggle. Now, given the luxury of freedom, he runs away toward childishness. For this reason, the Last Man has his hands all over I’d Give it a Year. To which the film poses this question: why should two people who are not meant for each other be prohibited from divorcing? How about asking how did these two people get into this situation in the first place?


Again, because they are herd animals, moving according to their caprice versus anything transcendentally aspirational, e.g. an authentic self as prescribed by Kierkegaard. This life form is more rock than man, as it is moved in a near-deterministic manner. Meaning, the mixture of the environment with their freedom yields unequivocally a severe imbalance of control over the human individual to the environment. The essence of confronting reality, then, is man overcoming the resistance nature bears upon his shoulders, physically adapting his mind to the conditions which refuse to give in to his will. Ancient Athens celebrated this as man’s condition and formed the atom of an eternal recurrence towards this image. This allows us to sneer pitifully downward at the livestock that occupy the screen. They simply exist, with no value given to that existence. Again, they have chosen to live their lives closer to rocks than to what is beyond them. The havoc that that brings to their souls, who have chosen not to burden themselves with spiritual responsibility, cannot be escaped; thus, we see the collapse of the institution of marriage as historical evidence of the Last Man’s tepid march onto Earth’s sacred soil.


Aside from the horror that this film is a commercial product and is thus manufactured with the intent to resonate with its audience, there is redeemable value in observing how the British do romantic comedies such as what their mass audiences finds humorous. While still the lowest common denominator of humor, it provides valuable insight.


Grade: C



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