Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, and Jason Bateman star in ‘Couples Retreat’, a film that “teaches us” that if your marriage is headed for trouble, go to a beautiful resort and argue alot. Then you’ll magically realize, as if you were in a movie, that you love each other! ‘Couples Retreat’ obviously doesn’t have much of a plot (or point) to it, often times in the movie it feels like entire scenes were constructed and put in the movie just for one joke. Example: As a part of one of the “exercises”, the couples must strip to their underwear and stare at each other. But one guy doesn’t have underwear! Oh, how funny yet subtle!
The set-up for the film is that 4 couples, all of them close friends (except for one 20-year old woman), each with their own assorted problems, all go together to a beautiful resort, to bond. What they don’t realize is that they must attend therapy as couples, and the therapy entails some weird stuff. (i.e., swim with sharks)
It’s annoying just how uncreative the film is. Don’t know how to make an audience laugh? Bring in a guy with a funny accent and a Speedo, that’ll make us all laugh! Running out of ideas? Have a Guitar Hero duel! (product placement at its very worst) Occasionally in the film there are scenes of the couples doing yoga with an instructor, which is supposed to make us laugh. Wow, a man is showing another man how to do yoga, how awkward and socially unacceptable! The film reduces a man in a Speedo to a constant punchline. I’m pretty shocked this got a PG-13, there’s some very R-rated jokes here.
There is a bit to enjoy in “Couples Retreat”. Vince Vaughn & Jon Favreau have good chemistry together, something they’ve demonstrated in “Swingers” and even the terrible “Four Christmases”. The dialogue with Vince Vaughn’s children is hilarious, and a running joke with a toilet is crude and stupid, but hilarious. ‘Couples Retreat’ is directed by Peter Billingsley, young Ralphie from the classic “A Christmas Story”. It kind of sucks to say that this movie lacks personality, given the talent at hand.
Basically, although there’s some funny bits in “Couples Retreat”, it’s mostly stupid and uninspired. D