“Couples Retreat”
a review by Darby O’Gill

When is a vacation not a vacation? Two words… couples counseling. When the very together Jason and Cynthia, played by Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell, feel their marriage may possibly be coming to an end, they decide to enlist in a very special couples program on a remote tropical island. The only problem, is they need to convince three other couples to join them in order to get the cheaper group rate. There’s the couple that seems to have it all together, Dave and Ronnie, played by Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman, a nice happy family. Then there’s Joey and Lucy, played by Jon Favreau and Kristin Davis, who are counting down the days to their divorce, once there daughter heads off to college. Finally there’s Shane, played by Faizon Love, who is recently divorced and finds himself dating Trudy, played by Kali Hawk, a girl young enough to be his daughter. At Eden Resort West, the couples can find all sorts of activities, like couples skill building, open sea swimming with sharks, full contact yoga, and even a little “Guitar Hero.” Which brings us to Sctanley, played by the brilliant Peter Serafinowicz, who watches the couples like a hawk. He makes sure the couples don’t venture over to the resort on the other side of the island, Eden Resort East, which is a singles resort that promises all the fun that seems to be missing from their side of the island.
I know a lot of people are knocking Couples Retreat for not taking the story somewhere new, but I kind of like that this movie feels like an old school comedy. Sure you know where they’re taking it, but it’s funny, and fun to watch. Isn’t that the point of an entertaining movie? These days, it seems like movies have to be totally amazing, or so bad you want to leave the theater. Can’t we have an Uncle Buck these days? You know, a movie that isn’t the best, but makes you say, “That was fun!” I would like to think it’s that kind of movie Favreau and Vaughn had in mind when they wrote this. I also think director Peter Billingsley, did a great job of capturing that feeling visually. Speaking of the visuals, I think it’s safe to say that Bora Bora makes every shot look amazing! Why couldn’t I have been invited to that press junket!? A free trip to Bora Bora! No thanks, it’s nice and cool here in Los Angeles. Hey Jon, I’m available for the Iron Man 2 junket by the way. I also love the fact that the characters Jon Favreau is playing these days, has gone from the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s really hoping makes it happen, to the guy in the rated R movie that cheats on his wife; although Couples Retreat is rated PG-13. But you know what I mean. He’s played some really great assholes lately, and some of those movies were rated R. Look, the bottom line is, if you want to see something deep, go see A Serious Man. But, for a fun date movie that makes you laugh and feel good, Couples Retreat is a nice getaway.

Rating:
3.5 Little People


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