Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Couples Retreat”

(Universal Pictures. 1 hour, 47 minutes. Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content and language. Directed by Peter Billingsley.) Vince Vaughn (Dave), Jason Bateman (Jason), Faizon Love (Shane), Jon Favreau (Joey), Malin Akerman (Ronnie), Kristen Bell (Cynthia), Kristin Davis (Lucy). Music by A.R. Rahman.

Anal-retentive couple Jason and Cynthia (Bateman and Bell) goad their friends into a tropical beach vacation. However, once on the island, they’re confronted with “Couple Skill Building” and yoga with airy Frenchman Marcel (Jean Reno, a far cry from his role in The Professional) instead of parties and jet skis. A good cast and some funny scenes round out an amusing, if a bit mediocre, comic trifle.

It’s almost hard to believe that Vaughn and Favreau, the duo the wrote the classic bro-comedy Swingers, helped write this movie, which lacks so much of the wit and verve of the former. The cast does help to alleviate some of this, with Bateman and Love hitting their marks while Favreau and Vaughn exhibit their old chemistry. The ladies, on the other hand, are relegated to the background, with each being given a stereotype to fulfill and little else. Reno is amiable enough as the fabled “couples whisperer,” but Peter Serafinowicz and Carlos Ponce (as a mouthy concierge and a swarthy, under-dressed yoga instructor, respectively) run away with their scenes. The pacing hits way too many lulls between the funny scenes, dragging the movie about 15 minutes longer than necessary. Even with that, the ending still feels rushed, predictable and fairly unconvincing. This is the first film directed by Billingsley, best known as Little Ralphie from A Christmas Story, and it shows. At least the scenery is pretty. A decent comedy that hits about as much as it misses.

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Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies. After being hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, he proceeded to bounce between...

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