Having trouble communicating with your significant other? Trying to rekindle that romance and fire you once had? Trying to keep up with your younger mate after a bad divorce? Want to prevent each other from splitting up? Or maybe you were just sweet talked into accompanying a couple friends trying to fix their own relationship even though you are convinced there is absolutely nothing wrong with yours… If so, then may I recommend to you six days and five nights of unrelenting paradise, fun in the sun, maybe some jet skiing and oh yeah, some good old fashioned and very unorthodox couple’s therapy; Vince Vaughn style.
That is where “Couple’s Retreat” comes in. Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, and Faizon Love take a trip to a couples resort with their better halves, Malin Ackerman, Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis and Kali Hawk. Filmed in paradise heaven, Bora Bora, this film gives some insight on how far some couples will go to save their relationship and sometimes therapy can cause more damage than good. With already seasoned comedic actors in this film, it kind of speaks for itself, throw in Jean Reno as their therapy counselor and be surprised on how a Vince Vaughn written film can bring out the silliness in anyone.
Starting out in a snowy Chicago, three and a half couples, whom are all married and very good friends, decide to take a trip to a couples resort to support two of them who actually need the help. The half is Shane (Faizon Love) who just went through a pretty bad divorce with his ex-wife whom he may not be completely over. He brings his very much younger girlfriend, Trudy (Kali Hawk), on the trip who he is desperately trying to keep up with. Jason and Cynthia (Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell) are having trouble conceiving and feel that problem might cause them to get a divorce. They talk the rest of their reluctant friends to accompany them on the trip. One couple, Joey and Lucy (Jon Favreau and Kristin Davis), show they might actually need the help when the audience is exposed to their tendency to let a little more than their eyes stray away from their mate. Out of all the couples, Dave and Ronnie (Vince Vaughn and Malin Ackerman) seem to be the only ones who are ok and normal in their marriage with two sons, one of which confuses a toilet on display at a hardware store for the real thing. “There’s not much to say”, Dave explains to the hardware store attendant after realizing his son went No. 1 in it.
The couples arrive in paradise, which also has a singles side to it, and soon realize this is not exactly a vacation. You see, in order for them to make it through the therapy course successfully, they must follow the stressful program to a perfect and crisp “T”. Exposing themselves in front of each other, swimming with sharks and not only not being able to sleep late, but arising when most of us find it suitable to crash after a night of drinking and acting like Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber”. Not to mention a yoga session with a half naked male instructor that no man would let their woman go to alone and without a taser gun. I must add, that scene is a must see. The sheer inappropriateness of it combined with the instructor yelling “Yes, Encouragement!” after every direction is hilarious. Towards the end, Trudy becomes frustrated at the fact that Shane can’t keep up with her and decides to leave and travel to the singles side of the resort. The friend’s band together to go find her and the journey reveals some misgivings and hidden opinions they have about each other and their wives. By the end of the movie, it tries to convey some moral messages about relationships and coexisting with someone you love, but you’re still waiting on the next laugh.
Directed by Peter Billingsley and co-written by Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, “Couples Retreat” is a true Vince Vaughn classic. It completely has his sense of humor splattered all over it. From his trademark ability to talk and exaggerate something simple into something absolutely catastrophic to hustling one of the counselor’s in a fevered game of “Guitar Hero”, this movie will have you laughing, guaranteed. The acting by the females are pretty right on as wives who love their husband and wives who want something more and different. I also really enjoyed the performance by Colin Baiocchi, the “toilet kid”, his dialogue is utterly hilarious.
The script was well written, so many awkward situations and random dialogue fit perfectly into this film. I also recommend watching the deleted and alternate scenes contained on the DVD, you actually see a lot of the funny in this movie was just on the spot silliness by the actors. They must have had a wonderful time making it.
In conclusion, “Couples Retreat” is a great rental. Out on a date, hanging out with friends or just wanting some laughs on your own, this is a good bet. You should be holding your stomach mid way through. I prescribe “4 yoga sessions out of 5” for this one. “Help me get my shirt off!”