Couples Retreat (M)

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Review byMatthew Turner14/10/2009

One out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Hugely disappointing, painfully unfunny comedy that completely wastes its talented cast and then compounds the misery with a dismal script, an overdose of tired cliches and some shocking product placement.

What's it all about?
Directed by Peter Billingsley, Couples Retreat stars Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman as Dave and Ronnie, a married couple with two young children, who are persuaded to go on a couples retreat on an island resort in Bora Bora by their friends Jason and Cynthia (Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell), who announce that their marriage is in trouble after years of trying to conceive. They also rope in their married-since-high-school friends Joey and Lucy (Jon Favreau and Kristin Davis) and newly divorced Shane (Faison Love), who brings along his 20-something girlfriend (Kali Hawk).

However, the resort doesn't turn out to be the paradise they'd been promised and instead involves a gruelling regime of 6am starts, punishing yoga classes and mandatory couples therapy sessions, with the resort manager (Peter Serafinowicz) threatening to send them home if they attempt to opt out. Unsurprisingly, it isn't long before the cracks in each relationship start to show, but will the retreat bring them together or drive them apart?

The Bad
The only good thing about Couples Retreat is its extremely talented cast. Vaughn and Favreau have great form as a comic team and Bateman, Bell, Love, Davis and Akerman have all been very funny elsewhere. Unfortunately, the film completely wastes each and every one of them, with even the expected banter between Vaughn and Favreau falling short of expectations.

The lazy, heavily cliche-laden script is an utter disaster from beginning to end; none of the characters or relationships ring true, so it's impossible to care whether any of them split up or not. They're not even all that likeable and there's no sense of real friendship between the men.

The Worst
However, the biggest problem is that there's not a single funny moment in the entire film. On top of that, there's a shocking scene in the middle (Vaughn and Serafinowicz duelling on Guitar Hero) that's essentially five minutes of blatant product placement.

Worth seeing?
Couples Retreat is so unremittingly bad that it'll actually make you angry. The only one doing any retreating here should be you, away from this film. Avoid.

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Couples Retreat (M)
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Content updated: 23/01/2020 01:18

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