— by ALEXA MILAN —
With a cast including funny men Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and Jason Bateman, I expected “Couples Retreat” to offer plenty of laughs. But as far as romantic comedies go, this one fell a little flat.
The film focuses on four couples: Dave (Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman), a stable and happy couple with excessively busy lives; Jason (Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell), an anal retentive couple who are having trouble conceiving a child; Joey (Favreau) and Lucy (Kristen Davis), who married after getting pregnant in high school and both have wandering eyes; and Shane (Faizon Love) and Trudy (Kali Hawk), whose May-December romance is a product of Shane’s recent divorce.
Jason and Cynthia tell the others they are considering getting a divorce, and they want to travel to a tropical couples resort called Eden to attempt to save their marriage. They can’t afford the cost of the trip themselves, though, so they invite their friends to accompany them and get a discounted group rate. While the other couples are only looking for fun in the sun rather than therapy, the trip forces all of them to re-evaluate their relationships.
The film was written by Vaughn and Favreau, both of whom have proven funny in the past in films like “Swingers.” But for the majority of the film, the audience only let out a few half-hearted chuckles and the occasional laugh.
The concept for “Couples Retreat” had potential, but it failed in its execution. The film was cheesy and predictable in all the wrong ways. I love cheesy and predictable romantic comedies as much as the next person, as long as they’re funny. But the jokes in this film were just few and far between, with only a handful of laugh-out-loud scenes.
The movie did have a terrific ensemble cast, which is part of the reason I was so disappointed with it. With the names attached to the project, I just expected more. All of the actors did a great job in their individual roles and as a group, and with a less talented cast, this movie would have completely missed the mark. The actors all seemed to be having fun together, which is part of what made the film bearable.
“Couples Retreat” did have some cute and funny moments, and the actors are all enjoyable to watch. It’s by no means the worst rom-com out there, but the fact that this romantic comedy isn’t all that funny takes away from the experience. “Couples Retreat” ends up being more of a lackluster trip than an enjoyable getaway.
Click here, to see seven scenes from “Couples Retreat.”
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Follow Alexa Milan on Twitter at http://twitter.com/alexamilan.