Sunday, 1 November 2009

Couples Retreat (2009)

Directed by Peter Billingsley
Written by Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn and Dana Fox
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Faizon Love, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kirsten Davis and Kali Hawk

Plot: Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) have failed to conceive and are heading for a divorce. But in an attempt to save their marriage they book a holiday to a couples therapy retreat. To help them afford the trip they book a group package and persuade their
friends, Dave (Vince Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman), Joey (Jon Favreau) and Lucy (Kristen Davis), and divorced Shane (Faizon Love) and his current girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk) to join them. Problem is Jason and Ronnie tell their friends that they do not have to participate in the couples therapy and can simply enjoy the other luxuries on the island, this turns out not to be the case when they get there. All the couples have to participate or they must all leave.

When they arrive at Eden they are sent to Eden West the couples side, by Sctanley (Peter Serafinowicz) but Joey learns that Eden East is a singles side and just one big party, but no couples are
allowed there.After their first therapy session all four couples learn they have problems with their relationships and even Ronnie and Dave, who thought they were fine, need the therapy. They endure the resort owner Marcel's (Jean Reno) strange methods of therapy and couples bonding exercises. This includes swimming with sharks and yoga sessions with a very buff instructor named Salvadore (Carlos Ponce).

One night Trudy escapes to Eden East and the other seven leave Eden West in search of her. During the journey to Eden East Cynthia and Jason argue and the group splits up. Cynthia, Lucy
and Ronnie wander into the jungle and Joey, Dave, Jason and Shane continue to find Trudy in Eden East. The women meet up
with Salvadore and he offer to take them to Eden East to have some fun. The men stumble upon Sctanley's hut and he threatens to report them to Marcel, until games salesmen Dave challenges him to a Guitar Hero duel. Dave beats Sctanley and he gives them directions to Eden East. In Eden East Ronnie grows tired of drinking and eventually finds Dave again, and they leave the party for a more romantic trip to the waterfall. Joey sees Lucy with Salvadore and decides to knock him out, this rekindles the past passion of their marriage bringing them together again. Cynthia and Jason share drinks and admit their problems. Shane runs in to his ex-wife, who admits she still loves him and wants to try again. Shane then sees Trudy and decides it is time to end his relationship with her and sets her free to enjoy the singles island.

All four couples return to Eden West. Marcel meets the couples the following morning. At first he seems annoyed at them for disobeying his rules but soon sees that they have worked out their problems and he frees them from the therapy and tells them they may finally go enjoy the rest of the resort.

I don't really have a huge amount to say about this film. It was neither here or there really. It was kinda funny but kinda not. Kinda well scripted and kinda not. Kinda good but kinda not! Just Kinda! I suppose!

There was quite a few laughs, some really good adult humored ones. But there were often scenes where the couples would have a serious-ish talk and you would be waiting for the funny bit and it
just wouldn't come, leaving you feeling a little disappointed. The ludicrousness of some of the situations is just silly. And the scripting is sometimes a bit lacking.

Now I don't mean to stereotype or sound vain but for some reason all the women cast are thin and really beautiful but they are paired with very unlikely husbands. They men aren't unattractive but they are slightly larger and not exactly handsome. The couples are just really not suited to each other, especially Lucy and Joey! Saying that the acting is all good but it is a cast of very good actors so that is the least you expect really. Jason Bateman and Kirsten Bell are especially good as they deal with the slightly more difficult and heartfelt story line.

The story line is so predictable and something you have sort of seen in other films. It is nothing new or different and to be honest its a bit boring. You get fed up of seeing stories that follow the same path and lead to the same ending, and this was one of those films. Its fine if you just want a cheesy chick flick that doesn't require much brain power to watch. It just flows easily,
something you could play in the background and still get all of it.

Thats all I really have to say to be honest. The best part of the film is the island itself, its stunning, the perfect romantic destination.

I would give this a 4 out of 10. Which I know is really low but its just not a very exciting film. I would advise you wait till it comes out on DVD or even until they air it on TV to save you spending any money on it really.


  1. Great review. I was tempted to go see this at the theater. Now I will probably just wait!

  2. Funny! I thought the same thing when I saw the preview - "Jon Favreau is cheating on Kristen Davis? How'd he even get her in the first place?" It does seem a little unrealistic! Like those movies where Katherine Heigl can't get a date. Hehe!

  3. ooh sounds like a hilarious movie! great review

  4. I went to see this movie as I like Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman. The movie wasn't Oscar material obviously, but for what it was, a romantic comedy, it was very enjoyable.