Monday, October 12, 2009

Couples Retreat

I know that people love to hate on movies like Couples Retreat, and I saw it on Saturday knowing that it had already received less-than-stellar reviews. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the film written by Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau (Swingers writer). It was often funny, and there are some sweet moments too. Plus, the scenery was amazing - it definitely made me want to go to Bora-Bora.

Jason (Juno's Jason Bateman) and Cynthia's (Kristen Bell a.k.a. the voice of Gossip Girl) marriage is on the verge of divorce. After not being able to conceive, they're simply exhausted. Through a crafty PowerPoint presentation, they try to sell a couples' retreat vacation at Eden Resort to their friends.

Dave (Vaughn) and Ronnie's (Watchmen's Malin Ackerman) relationship seems to be the most normal of the bunch. They have two children and are content doing their everyday activities like working and redecorating their house. Joey (Favreau) and Lucy's (Kristin Davis) marriage is much shakier. They have only stayed together for their daughter - who they had in high school. Newly separated Shane (Faizon Love) is dating a much younger woman, Trudy (Kali Hawk), that he feels like he has to impress. So, pretty much every couple could use a getaway.

Eventually they all agree on the terms that there will be little or no "couple's skill building" and plenty of jet skiing. When they arrive, the couples discover that these skill building exercises and therapy sessions are made mandatory by the resort's rattailed owner, Marcel (Jean Reno). These sessions end up helping some relationships and hurting others.

In one exercise, they're playing a game looking at fish in the ocean by dropping in bloody bait (say what?) and sharks come up to Jason and Dave. Dave ends up being abandoned in the water and grazed by a shark's teeth. He ends up acting like a baby and blaming the others. There is also a very funny couple's yoga scene with the scantily clad instructor Salvadore (Carlos Ponce).

At one point, every single couple is arguing. Don't worry though, this movie ends happily. Which is one of the reasons that I can't hate on it too much - each marriage turns out to be worth fighting for.

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