Thursday, 01 October 2020
Couples Retreat
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Thursday, 15 October 2009 00:00
couplesretreatposterBeing in a relationship can be a lot of fun – staying in a relationship is hard work! Every couple goes through their share of difficulties, but not everyone gets to travel to a fancy 5-star resort to reconnect and share their feelings! That is exactly what happens in Couples Retreat, a battle-of-the-sexes rom-com that will make you long for either couples therapy or sunny skies and open water. With winter fast approaching, I’ll take option number two please!

Jason and Cynthia (Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell) are on the verge of divorce, much to the surprise of their friends who think the two super organized control-freaks are a perfect match. They’ve decided to call on same friends to help them out by going to an all-inclusive couples resort to experience some fine dining, romance, fun in the sun, and – oh yeah – therapy sessions. The other couples don’t think they need any help, but an amazing group rate has them convinced that they could use a little R&R. That is until those therapy sessions start making them second-guess their so-called happy marriages.

couplesretreatpic1The cast of Couples Retreat is rounded out by Dave and Ronnie (Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman) who are happier than most but in a rut; Joey and Lucy (Jon Favreau, Kristin Davis) who are bitterly staying together for their daughter; and Shane and Trudy (Faizon Love, Kali Hawk), a May-December romance founded on desperation and gold-digging. All of the actors play their roles with enthusiasm, though I can’t imagine not being enthusiastic about a free trip to Bora Bora to film a movie with my best friends. The spectacular Polynesian scenery alone is worth checking out this movie.

It’s always great to see the pairing of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau who co-wrote the script. Couples Retreat is not nearly as sharp as their previous pair-ups (Swingers, Made) but these two guys work well together on screen and off. Vaughn actually seems to be back on track after a couple of really terrible Christmas movies threatened to derail his career. I really never wanted to see him beating up elves, or dancing on table like in Fred Clause. Thankfully, his characteristic witty banter and nice-guy charm are back. Favreau on the other hand plays a brutish, disgusting oaf, but he does it well.

couplesretreatpic2There are some things about the movie that I found frustrating, such as the horrible amount of stereotypes. Shane and Trudy’s characters were a good example of this. Her shrill voice repeatedly calling him “Daddy” really irritated me! Not to mention the casual treatment of the effects of having an affair. I just don’t find those things very funny. On a positive note the match of Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell was inspired and I would have liked to see more focus on them.

Couples Retreat had me laughing pretty hard at certain moments. It’s not nearly as good as Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which also starred Kristen Bell in an exotic locale), but it’s an enjoyable comedy that doubles as a sunny getaway because of the beautiful scenery.