Couples Retreat

  • 2010-01-06
  • By Michael Litvinsky

Director: Peter Billingsley

What does it take to make a quality movie? A movie that people will watch, and even pay their own money for watching. Solid acting? This is preferable, but is not a must. Original directing, unique cinematography? The movie can be perfectly successful without these, one would think, essential parts. Mind-blowing special effects? Enough for some pictures, but insufficient for the majority. The one and only thing that will really make the movie sell is nothing less than a star-studded cast, and the film “Couples Retreat” is yet more proof of this not-very-pleasant fact.

The comedy is centered around four couples who settle into a tropical-island resort for a vacation. While one of couples – Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) –  tries desperately to save their marriage, their friends, Dave (Vince Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman), Joey (Jon Favreau) and Lucy (Kristen Davis), and recently divorced Shane (Faizon Love) and his girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk) recognize that all the couple-building stuff is only spoiling their relationships with each other.
As I see it, “Couples Retreat” was supposed to be a dialogue-based, catchy short-line style comedy; the dialogues turned out to be quite boring, and the actors (including one of the most funniest American comics – Vince Vaughn) weren’t capable of pull it off relying on their charisma alone.

So, after watching the film, I asked myself a question – How is this one different from any of the other comedy trash which is so extensively produced by Hollywood nowadays? To be honest, I failed to answer the question. Financially, the movie managed to sell more than 100 million dollars’ worth of tickets so far, though only in U.S., and the people are ready to pay more. Are five A-list crew members really enough to make the movie commercially successful? The numbers speak for themselves.
To some it all up, I want to say that “Couples Retreat” is not a bad movie, it just does not differ from any other Hollywood-made comedy you already seen, except for, maybe, the great views – the magnificent landscapes of Bora-Bora.        

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