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Review of Vince Vaughn in Couples Retreat

Couples Retreat: Not Exactly a Relaxing Getaway

Everyone loves a vacation, right? Beautiful scenery, tropical drinks, fun in the sun. Add a few of your closest friends and you could have the trip of a lifetime — or a romantic getaway gone horribly awry.

To be fair, the four pairs in Couples Retreat don't realize what they're agreeing to when they head to Eden East, a swanky resort on a remote island. But once the relationship boot camp begins, the friendships quickly break down, and it's often more depressing than hilarious. To see what I mean, just


The movie's couplings range in age, family size, and personality, with Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman at the epicenter. As Dave and Ronnie, they are perhaps the most "normal" of the bunch. Between Dave's demanding job making video games (hello, Guitar Hero product placement) and raising two young sons, Dave and Ronnie don't even realize their problems until they are forced into couples skill-building. Vaughn is his typical wise-cracking character, but a touch of sweetness makes his on-screen relationship with Akerman the most enjoyable to watch. You can actually believe that they love each other and aren't using the trip as a band-aid for a bullet hole.


Jason and Cynthia (played by Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell), on the other hand, are a lot harder to relate to as two type-A personalities with an undying love for organization and PowerPoint presentations. Jason and Cynthia present the idea of the group vacation to their friends as a last-ditch effort to save their marriage (promising that the therapy sessions are optional, of course). Bell is her typical adorable self, but Bateman is insufferable. His character is painfully meticulous and overbearing, making the audience feel just as suffocated as Cynthia does.

Joey (Jon Favreau) and Lucy (Kristin Davis) represent the worst of the worst: the couple that's been together so long that they don't even notice each other anymore. The high school sweethearts take the trip not as an opportunity to re-kindle the flame, but to chase skirts (or in this case, bikini bottoms) and muscular yoga instructors. Favreau gets a few laughs with his quest to get to Eden West, the "singles" side of the island, but age-wise, Davis doesn't quite fit in with Bell and Ackerman. It's also hard to laugh at characters that embody one of the biggest fears for young couples, and their ice-cold relationship is almost too realistic to scoff at.

Then there's Shane (Faizon Love), who's newly separated from the wife he still loves, but brings along his 20-year-old girlfriend for the ride instead. As Trudy, Kali Hawk steals a lot of the laughs as she yearns to drink and party all night long while her boyfriend would rather take a nap. One joke that never gets old: Trudy's insistence on calling Shane "Daddy" throughout the entire film.

With such a strong headline cast, it's disappointing that the supporting actors steal the show. I laughed the hardest at Dave and Ronnie's adorable boys (who get very little screen time) and at the motley crew of therapists and other wacky workers at the resort dedicated to making this the trip from hell.

At the end of it all, you'll get a few laughs along with some very beautiful imagery, but you might just want to put your money toward your own vacation instead.

Photos courtesy of Universal Pictures

Join The Conversation
liz26111 liz26111 7 years
Just saw it. It was ok. The kids are the best part of this movie. Totally cute.
lwimbush lwimbush 7 years
buzz is right. generous, in fact. this movie is just bad. and i love vince vaughn.
blondie829 blondie829 7 years
i'll wait on DVD for this one, especially since rotten tomatoes has it at around 10% now....thats just crazy!
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
I didn't think it would be good but an actor from my fave soap, Carlos Ponce is in it (think he's the muscular yoga instructor mentioned) so I was pulling for this movie.
Jess8902 Jess8902 7 years
Yeah, I'm totally seeing this. Kristen Bell is awesome and I love Vince Vaughn.
redchick152 redchick152 7 years
i think i'm going to see this this weekend. looks funny to me. i do think the cast pairings seem....unmatched? malin and kristen bell seem too young to be in such serious relationships w/ vince and jason. i'm excited to see kristin davis in something other than SATC!
ktc71 ktc71 7 years
I love Vince Vaughn so I will still want to see it too. :)
care0531 care0531 7 years
I still want to see it too! I love the cast so I will see it for sure!
biarose biarose 7 years
I still want to see it. I love movies on island location lol and I love the cast too. I've learned to take reviews with a grain of salt, I think, because we all have different tastes.
smileyface smileyface 7 years
Hmm. My boyfriend and I saw the commercial for this this morning and he said he wanted to go see it...I might be suggesting a different movie now...
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