A comedy centered around four couples who settle into a tropical-island resort for a vacation. While one of the couples is there to work on the marriage, the others fail to realize that participation in the resort's therapy sessions is not optional.
At The Movies
Couples Retreat (PG) * * *
Director: Peter Billingsley
Stars: Vince Vaughn, John Favreau,
Audience Suitability: PG
Rating: * * *
Studio: Universal Pictures
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Release Date: Oct. 9, 2009
By ROBERT WALDMAN
What to do when the passion is gone? Either give up or try again. In the game of love affection doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t necessarily last. One coupleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s journey for renewal sparks loads of turmoil in Couples Retreat, a frankly funny film from Universal Pictures drawing crowds to Oakridge Cinemas, Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Famous Players Silver City cites around B.C.
Doing comedy right can be a real tricky affair. Team up writers/actors Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers) in a tropical setting and all hell breaks loose. Lucky for us this strong script is pretty accurate when it comes to relationships smartly weaving in and out the dirty laundry of some forty something Ã¢â‚¬Å“adultsÃ¢â‚¬Â hoping to salvage their lives.
Director Peter Billingsley very cleverly divides this film into two parts. That all important set up looks at the Ã¢â‚¬Å“homeÃ¢â‚¬Â lives of four Ã¢â‚¬Å“normalÃ¢â‚¬Â couples. Life between a man and woman can be complicated with outside factors like children and work thrown into the mix. You can see the seeds of disruption among these friends. When one in the group thinks the best way to get the love juices flowing is to go to a couples retreat the others agree and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re off to the races.
Club Eden is a sort of adult Disneyland. Amid the tropical sun our city slickers travel on uneven sand. Once at the resort all bets are off as we encounter all sorts of crazy workers and the Ã¢â‚¬Å“guestsÃ¢â‚¬Â wind up in more trouble by the second.
Smart, funny and very appealing casting makes Couples Retreat a good time at the movies. Besides Vaughn and Favreau, who really stand out, friends in league Jason Bateman and Malin Akerman are also engaging. Each of the husband wife team brings their own Ã¢â‚¬Å“historiesÃ¢â‚¬Â to the table and to see the sparks fly is really fun to behold. About the only downside to the film is that some of the officials at the club come off as bland, but this is all forgiven by the other cast cameos including a hip fitness instructor who will become an instant star after his performance. Names donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean anything here - you have to see his act to believe. Past one trick wonders like the famous Serge from the Beverly Hills cop series come to mind only this newcomer may prove more enduring.
Equal screen time is mostly given to the wives who also turn in rousing performances in this wacky farce that pokes fun at one of societyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most sacred institutions and its aftermath. Unlike reality television like the Survivor series the look of this island resort is lush in the extreme. Like an updated, r-rated Fantasy Island Couples Retreat comes off like a wicked innocent pleasure with lots of good back and forth banter between supposedly well- suited adults on somewhat of a collision course with their own personal futures.
Fit for those married or single, people wanting a good chuckle at the expense of some messed up tourists will find it at Couples Retreat.
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