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A bit of a downer
on February 8, 2010
I salivated a bit when I saw that the creative team of Vaughn, Favreau and Billingsley had cooked up another comedy. I was expecting another Swingers or Made. Instead I got a romantic comedy type film that wasn't really all that funny.
The cast is normally awesome, and although Jason Bateman is usually great, his character here is just so annoying. Kristen Bell, as his wife, was equally annoying. Malin Ackerman (Watchmen) was good as Vince's wife, but Kristin Davis (Sex & the City) didn't really do much of anything. Faizon Love (Made) was funny. Jean Reno (The Professional) was totally wasted as a stereotypical French new age guru.
The concept here is that Bateman and Bell found that their marriage was coming to an end and decided to sign up for a couple's retreat to fix their marriage. The only catch is that they can't afford it unless they do it as a group rate, so everybody is along for the ride. Even Faizon Love is coming, who's already split from his wife and is bringing his new girlfriend, the 20 year old Trudy, instead. They are promised good times, lots of jet skis and drinking.
I'm sure you know what happens next. Turns out that they have to participate in compulsory couples counselling. No jetskis, no drinks, no fun. I guess when you watch a movie with 8 people having no fun, the viewer in turn has no fun. There were some highlights here, I enjoyed seeing Vince Vaughn getting circled by sharks, and John Michael Higgins was really funny and annoying as a counsellor. Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead) is deadpan dry as Sctanley, the guy who runs the retreat. Blink and you might miss Temuera Morrison (Attack of the Clones) as Jean Reno's sidekick. You may also notice Ken Jeong (The Hangover) as a counsellor.
However, the movie is predictable, a bit dry, and not something you'd watch to feel good. The final highlight for me was a Guitar Hero dual between Vaughn and Serafinowicz, but even that felt like I'd already seen it before (Paul Blart: Mall Cop anyone?).
I haven't even watched the DVD bonus features. Sorry about that.
3 stars, which I feel is generous.