As society takes a closer look at relationships, Hollywood has joined them with Vince Vaughn’s “Couple Retreat”. The movie focuses on four couples who who, thinking Eden is more about the recess than the curriculum, go on a couple’s retreat together to help out out with the expense. Each couple has it’s unique problems: Jason Batemen and Kristen Bell play an over organized couple who, in the process of trying to get pregnant, begin to question their compatibility. Personal experience has taught me that many people who are working hard at trying to have a baby find that the strain it places on their marriage can destroy the togetherness that caused the desire to make a child, and the way these characters make public the pressures of procreation are both sensitive and entertaining. Jon Favereau and Kristen Davis also face a not-uncommon marital problem. Having been in love in high school, their daughter is about to turn 18 and go off to college, and they are counting the days so they can get a divorce. This couple’s situation is one of my favorites, because it has happen so often to the people I know. Even if it’s not getting married right out of high school, many couple seem to fall out of love, even if they do still care; time making them blind to one another’s better qualities. The shared parenting moment in spite of the obvious tension between the two characters is an excellent reference for divorcing couple who still need to parent together. Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman have the most together relationship of the whole group. With two kids and a house remodel during the release of his new game, they have a lot going on in their lives that seem to pull them apart, but they really just work on their different projects side-by-side, one taking care of what they other doesn’t. This couple reminds us that there are times when we over-examine things, wanting to repair what only needs a touch of mending. Faizon Love gets two partners in this movie, Kali Hawk (the 20 year-old girlfriend) and Tasha Smith (the ex-wife). Being the younger wife of an older man, I found this situation wonderfully laughable, if even a bit ridiculous. As he tries to impress his young girl friend, we learn that he is not only still in love with his ex-wife, but has been a really good partner only to be jilted by the women in his life. I won’t share the end of his journey but I will tell you that the ride there is worth the price of admission.
As long as the price is just a couple bucks. This is a movie that reminds me why I don’t go to the theater. I would not have been able to enjoy this movie at all at regular prices. I may enjoy Vaughn’s humor on occasion, but his acting skills are non-existent. At least that is what the scope of the characters that he has played has shown us. Even Bateman must be getting tired of playing the straight man. I’m fairly certain this was a continuation of his character in “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”. Again, I do enjoy the appropriate placement of their type-casting, but it doesn’t make me want to pay to see it. Unfortunately, although Jean Reno once again shines with his eccentric island guru, it is not enough to make the movie itself stand out.
Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the movie-the storyline, scenery and even the un-complected characters were well matched for a movie, just maybe not appropriate for the high price of entertainment. From the moment the titles disappear into the wonderfully progressing historic pictures, to the alternate ending, I was well aware that paying under $5 for both of us to see the movie, was the best way to go. I recommend renting it for a couple’s movie night, inviting all your married friends, then kick back after you watch it and entertain yourself for the next twenty years with “We’re so-and-so from ‘Couples Retreat'” just like most of us have done with “The Breakfast Club”. I’m not sure that this move has that kind of cult classic-ability, but it is just entertaining enough that anything is possible.