Wed, Oct 7, 2009 (4:37 p.m.)
- Couples Retreat
- Zero Stars. It's that bad.
- Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell.
- Directed by Peter Billingsley.
- Rated PG-13. Opens Friday, but don't bother.
- More Vaughn
- Pound-for-pound box office champion
- Beyond the Weekly
- Couples Retreat
- Rotten Tomatoes: Couples Retreat
- IMDb: Couples Retreat
It’s almost hard to believe that 13 years ago, Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn were maverick Hollywood outsiders, busting into the film industry by writing and producing their own fresh, clever comedy for themselves to star in (Swingers, a deserved ’90s classic). Fast forward to 2009, and the pair have written and produced one of the moldiest, least clever Hollywood assembly-line products of the year (or the decade even) for themselves to star in. Couples Retreat has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and makes extra effort to insult its audience whenever possible, cramming together four lame, clichéd, retrograde “romantic” “comedies” into one excruciating movie, peppering it with horrible, unrealistic dialogue and pedantic life lessons, and at one point stopping cold to mount what is essentially a three-minute commercial for a certain electronics product that has no relation to the flimsy excuse for a plot.
That flimsy excuse? Four couples (played by Vaughn, Favreau, Jason Bateman, Faizon Love, Malin Akerman, Kristin Davis, Kristen Bell and Kali Hawk) take a trip to an island resort only to discover that their vacation package includes mandatory relationship therapy. Cue platitudes about marriage, crude gender stereotypes and a large helping of gay-panic “humor.” It’s completely unfunny and insincere, and choppily written (by Vaughn, Favreau and Dana Fox) and sloppily directed (by longtime Vaughn/Favreau producing partner Peter Billingsley) to boot. Congratulations, Vince and Jon: You’ve gone all the way from ambitious new voices to lazy, craven sell-outs in just a little over a decade.