Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau and Peter Billingsley. That was all I needed to know to buy a ticket. Topped off with Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis and Faizon Love, it became a must see. Couples Retreat is the latest in the new ‘not-quite-romantic comedies’. It’s a drama that also brings the funny. Many elitist moviegoers and reviewers have no appreciation for this kind of film. I definitely do. It’s not high art, or high comedy. But it is high entertainment.
The real life friendship of Vaughn, Bateman, Favreau and Billingsley (director) really pays off on screen. Their interaction is seamless. Yes, the core of their characters is the same as in previous movies, but it’s so good that your not distracted at all. They are all just so entertaining to watch.
I am very glad to see Kristen Bell playing mature roles. She was somewhat typecast with her excellent portrayal as Veronica Mars, but between Sarah Marshall and Retreat she has now established herself as a ‘adult’. She was the perfect choice to play opposite Bateman. I was pleasantly surprised by Malin Akerman. I’ve never been a huge fan of hers before, but she was great in this movie. She is on her way to becoming another Leslie Mann.
As with The Break-Up, writers Vaughn and Favreau bring real feelings and issues to the screen. Every married couple can find a way to relate to at least one of the couples in this movie. What was missing that The Break-Up had was pulling you in so far that you began to feel uncomfortable watching. Retreat could have accomplished this during the montage of arguments between the couples. They started to, but never went all the way. I’m guessing it ended up on the cutting room floor.
I give Couples Retreat at really glad I seen it.