Oh, the things we’ll do for friendship. Once upon a time, Jon Favreau wrote a couple of nice, intelligent, if unspectacular little comedies — Swingers and Made — that starred himself and his buddy Vince Vaughn. Now many years, a bit of stardom, and higher pay grades later, we have Vaughn starring, writing — along with Favreau — and producing Couples Retreat, one of the most laborious, ill-advised excuses for a romantic comedy to come around in some time. Any of the past wit found in those aforementioned comedies is a rarity in Couples Retreat. Instead, we get a compendium of comedy’s lowest common denominators. Adorable precocious child? Check. Lame bathroom humor? In spades. Awkward sex jokes and homosexual panic? You’ve come to the right place. And to top it all off, since this is a movie about troubled couples, we get lots and lots of uncomfortable, grating spousal arguing — all in a movie that’s at least 20 minutes too long. The set-up is simple. A group of couples not looking for any type of self-improvement head off to a tropical resort which specializes in relationship therapy, as they attempt to save their friends’ (Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell) failing marriage. But they all soon find out that instead of jet skis and snorkeling like they’d been promised, they’ve all signed up for couples counseling. The results are painfully unfunny — and that’s being nice.
Director: Peter Billingsley
Writer: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn and Dana Fox
Producer: Vince Vaughn and Scott Stuber
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love, Kristin Davis, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kali Hawk and Jean Reno