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Couples Retreat - Ladue News: Arts & Entertainment

Couples Retreat

Paradise Lost

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Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2009 12:00 am

This movie is getting chewed up and spit out by almost every critic who has seen it. Comments like, eight actors are taking a much-needed vacation on the studio’s dime, are not uncommon. And there is some truth to that. If you’re not a fan of Vince Vaughn’s acid tongue or Jon Favreau’s quirky wit, you will find almost the entire film a complete waste of time. If you are a fan, this is an above average effort featuring some real comedic powerhouses.

    The film tells the story of four couples, all in very different places in their marriages. Shane (Faizon Love) is unwillingly divorced from Jennifer (Tasha Smith), but has moved on with a much, much younger Trudi (Kali Hawk). Joey (Favreau) and Lucy (Kristin Davis) have completely checked out, mentally and physically, of their loveless marriage. Dave (Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman) are seemingly happy in the throes of parenting, and Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) are, in their own words, ‘seriously considering getting a divorce.’ Their final attempt to save their marriage? Let’s say it together: couples retreat.

    From the get-go everything is amiss. The eight were expecting a week of jet skiing and lovemaking and drinks with umbrellas. What they get is a week of couples skill building, intense therapy and a yoga instructor with a rather unconventional approach. And that’s about it. There are lots of funny bits involving sharks and typhoons and strange encounters with the platitude-spewing guru, Marcel (Jean Reno). I bet you can guess how it all works out in the end.

    So on the plus side, it’s a group of great comic actors with impeccable timing who are also very easy on the eyes. On the minus side, the material they are given to work with is mediocre, derivative and predictable. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not going to blow you away.

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