COUPLES RETREAT [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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Vince Vaughn leads an all-star cast in the laugh-out-loud comedy about eight friends whose vacation in paradise is one they’ll never forget. Their group-rate vacation comes at a price when they discover that participation in the resort's unconventional couples therapy activities is anything but optional. Co-starring Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love, Kristin Davis, Kristen Bell and Malin Akerman, Couples Retreat is a hilarious party in paradise, loaded with laughter and fun!
Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau team up after their '90s career-making hit, Swingers, to write and costar in Couples Retreat, a romantic comedy that's heavy on the satire, but is also knowing and wry, as Swingers is at its best. Vaughn and Favreau are joined in the top-notch cast by the always engaging Kristin Bell (whose appearance with Vaughn, in a romantic tropical setting, may remind viewers of Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Jason Bateman, Kristin Davis (Sex and the City), Faizon Love, and Jean Reno. Fans of romantic comedies, and comedies of manners, will be delighted at the snappy interaction among the actors, and the zingers delivered by the script.
"You are not buying some 20-year-old broad a motorcycle!" yells Vaughn's character, Dave, to Love's character, Shane, who's having an early midlife crisis. "She's a kid! Buy her a Hello Kitty book!" Turns out that all the couples in Dave and Shane's circle are having issues, and decide to take a group tropical vacation. Ah, but there's a catch: the island getaway comes with mandatory couples counseling and bonding events. Most of the film's laughs come from cringe-worthy fish-out-of-water moments, though there are some pretty great fish-in-water moments, too: Dave begins to panic during a test involving swimming with sharks. "It's time to get the gun, and shoot some fish!"
Reno is also a standout, as the unctuous New Age-y director of the retreat, fearless in spewing half-nonsense yet having the almost admirable courage to stand behind his convictions. The film was directed with a light hand by Peter Billingsley, who starred as young Ralphie in A Christmas Story, and who has acted with Vaughn in Four Christmases and The Break-Up. And somehow, among the lunacy and the beauty of nature, friends and soulmates may just find the way back to each other. Just steer clear of the Jet Skis. --A.T. Hurley
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
We already know the formula. Today it is usually just a couple where one partner is either a rat or just out to prove something at the other partner’s expense. There have also been couples interactions as in “The Four Seasons” (1981) with Alan Alda. However it is not the formula as much as how the story flows and the actors pull it off. There may be a few twists and turns that add to the fun.
The location is Bora-Bora, Tahiti, French Polynesia, and really looks inviting in Blu-ray.
Jason and Cynthia invite other couples to their house to give them a presentation on Eden Island to interest them in a vacation. They announce that things aren't going so well with their own couple and are considering divorce; this will be a therapeutically vacation to them and is a chance for them to turn things around. While Jason and Cynthia work on their relationship and go in couple therapy the other couples are free to enjoy the Island's fun activities. After much arguing the couples all agree to go. When they arrive on Eden they are disappointed to learn that they all have to go through couple therapy which is not what they expected. The idea of sending four couples on an Island vacation mixed up with a few troubles here and there seemed like a somewhat enjoyable movie. Some moments were moderately funny and others came out to be not funny at all, I think some things supposed to make the audience laugh didn't work as thought out. I felt some parts of the movie dragged on and contributed to the movie receiving negative reviews.Read more ›