Starring: Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, Vince Vaughn
Directed by: Peter Billingsley
Official Site: Couples Retreat
The Plot: Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia's (Kristen Bell) marriage is at a turning point. They haven't been able to conceive, and time is running out. Taking their friends through a carefully constructed PowerPoint presentation detailing the five stages of grief and a hypothetical relationship Gantt chart, it is clear that the time has come to either poop or get off the pot (an image that recurs throughout the movie). The time is now to figure out whether or not they can make it as a couple, and to do so they need the help of their friends: Four couples enjoying a group discount for a couple's retreat on the island of Eden. The hitch? Everyone has to confront the problems in their own marriage, to help their friends overcome their own. And so the story begins.
The Good: If you're willing to just embrace the inherent inanities of the star-studded rom-com genre, then this is a perfectly acceptable date night flick for a married couple. Just don't look too far below the surface and you'll manage a few guffaws and knee slaps. Love him or hate him, Vince Vaughn as the childish Dave shines on as his usual hapless self, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your temperament. As such, you'll enjoy either his Guitar Hero rock-off competition or the scene where he gets dumped with fish blood and left to the sharks. You see, there's something for everyone!
The Bad: Jon Favreau as Joey is a detestable character, and disappointingly does nothing to rescue his role as a former-football-hero-gets-girl-pregnant-turns-bitter-cheating-slob-of-a-husband from the hackneyed boring-ness that it is. On the bright side, seeing Kristen Davis as his trashy nymphomaniac wife kind of has its perks. Is A Shotgun Wedding Right For You?
Verdict: Lives exactly up to whatever expectations you have, nothing more, nothing less. Call the babysitter, and enjoy some non-thinking fun. Love Lessons From Saturday Night Live!
In Theaters October 9th.