Couples Retreat is based on an idea of Vince Vaughn’s and fleshed out with the aid for his friend Jon Favreau. This could be a promising start if you’re a Vince Vaughn fan, but if you’re cynical about modern rom-coms and you really haven’t seen much of anything by Vince, you might be a bit dubious about a film that based on the trailer looks like it’s going to be high on gratuitous scenes and low on any real laughter.
The film follows four couples that essentially get tricked by one of the couples to go on a holiday to a tropical island resort, so that said couple can get the package rate. There is a catch however – this holiday is actually a couple’s retreat, where there will be daily – but optional – couples workshops. Seeing as only one couple THINKS their marriage needs work, the others are happy to go along to jet-ski and enjoy some fun in the sun. Unfortunately they discover on arrival that participation in the resort’s couple’s therapy is not optional.
I have to say, it didn’t sound like a very original storyline, and it was looking awfully predictable and the forecast had a definite cheese warning. However, as we all know when it comes to rom-coms, or any comedy really, predictability and cheese is not an issue if the movie actually delivers on the laughs. I’m glad to report that Couples Retreat has enough laugh out loud moments and the laughter is so infectious that we were laughing for a good while after the movie.
Sure the humour cuts a fine line some times, but the movie stays clear of any gratuitous scenes and stays focussed on delivering a good time.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis, Jean Reno, Tasha Smith
Directed by: Peter Billingsley
Written by: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Dana Fox
Distributor: Paramount Pictures