Tom Solomon (Jason Segel), a sous chef at a fancy restaurant, and Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt), a psychology PhD graduate, are a happy couple in San Francisco who get engaged a year after they began dating. Their nuptials get interrupted when Tom's best friend Alex Eilhauer (Chris Pratt) gets Violet's sister Suzie (Alison Brie) pregnant at Tom and Violet's engagement party and the two marry before Tom and Violet. Their nuptials get further delayed when Violet gets accepted into the University of Michigan's post-doctorate in psychology program which lasts two years. Tom agrees to move with her and delay their wedding until then. However, when he tells his boss, he becomes disheartened when she states she was planning on making him head chef at a new restaurant in town.
In Michigan, Violet settles into her new job nicely under her professor Winton Childs (Rhys Ifans). She bases her main thesis on people opting to eat stale donuts versus waiting for fresh donuts, associating impulse-control problems with personal and professional instability. However, Tom, unable to find a suitable chef's position, ends up working at Zingerman's and taking up hunting. Tom and Violet's nuptials get delayed even further when Winton receives NIH funding with Violet's help, enabling him to extend her program. In the meantime, grandparents of Violet start to die.
As years pass, Tom becomes increasingly disillusioned with his life, which becomes evident to Violet when she sees him eat a stale donut. While at a bar with colleagues, a drunken Violet and Winton kiss each other which Violet immediately regrets. She then visits Tom at work and tells him she wants to plan their wedding now, to which Tom happily agrees. Tom cleans himself up and they make arrangements together. Everything goes well until Violet decides to confess to Tom about kissing Winton. Tom gets disillusioned about their relationship, which reaches a climax when Winton comes to Tom and Violet's rehearsal dinner to try to apologize. Tom rejects his apology and starts chasing Winton away, with Violet trying to catch up, but Winton gets away after Tom insists that he run or fight him. A drunken Tom then runs into Margaret, one of his Zingerman's co-workers and has the chance to have sex with her, but opts out. He wakes up half-naked in the snow with a frostbitten toe, and he is taken to the hospital where the left big toe is amputated. Violet visits Tom at the hospital, before they call off their engagement once they arrive home.
Tom moves back to San Francisco and becomes a sous-chef under Alex at the new restaurant, while also starting a relationship with the hostess Audrey (Dakota Johnson). However, Tom's parents and Alex see that Tom is dissatisfied with his new life and motivate him to act upon this. Alex fires him, telling Tom that he is the better chef and should open his own franchise. Tom launches a specialty taco truck. Meanwhile, Violet starts a relationship with Winton and receives an assistant professorship at the university, but becomes upset when she learns she got the job because she was dating Winton rather than her abilities as a researcher and breaks up with Winton.
When Violet's last grandparent dies during the summer, Tom, having broken up with Audrey, shows up at the funeral in England and rekindles his relationship with Violet. They agree to spend the remainder of the summer together in San Francisco, and they begin to reconnect while sharing an apartment and working side-by-side in the taco truck. While driving Violet to the airport, Tom says he can take his food truck to where she is and continue their relationship. Violet then proposes to Tom, stating they'll always have problems together, but that it shouldn't stop them from getting married. Tom reveals the engagement ring he gave her initially, stating he was planning on proposing to her at the airport. They both agree and head to Alamo Square Park where Violet has organized for their family and friends to be waiting for an impromptu wedding. Violet allows Tom to choose between various options for the officiant, clothing and music, and they finally get married.
Parts of the movie take place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and scenes were filmed there and in nearby Ypsilanti in June 2011.
The Five Year Engagement: Music From The Motion Picture is the soundtrack of the film. It was released on April 17, 2012 with Michael Andrews as composer and Jonathan Karp as Music Supervisor.
The Five-Year Engagement debuted at number 5 in the box office. It grossed $11,157,000 on its first weekend in US and Canada. As of May 20, 2012 it has grossed $27,068,000 in U.S. and Canada and $4,700,000 in Australia and New Zealand bringing to a total of $31,768,000. The movie's budget was $30,000,000. As of June 21, 2012 its worldwide gross was $53,909,751. The film was released on 22 June in the UK. By August it had grossed $7,743,125 in the United Kingdom.
The Five-Year Engagement received generally positive reviews from critics, with critics particularly praising the performances of Emily Blunt and Alison Brie, as well as the chemistry between Blunt and Jason Segel. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 63% based on 165 reviews; the average rating was 6.2/10. The website's consensus states, "While certainly overlong, The Five-Year Engagement benefits from the easy chemistry of its leads and a funny, romantic script with surprising depth and intelligence." On Metacritic the film has a score of 62 out of 100 based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Elizabeth Weitzman, a critic from New York Daily News wrote: "Blunt has never been more relaxed, and she and Segel have a believably warm chemistry." Richard Roeper gave the film a grade of a B+, saying that it featured a "winning cast in an uneven but often brilliant and weird comedy."