Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'll Just Roofie Myself, Thanks

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau are a great dynamic duo of comedy. Everybody should hopefully remember the great cult classic Swingers. Great writing, great acting, it remains one of my favorite cult classics to this day. But lightning has trouble striking twice as all of Vaughn and Favreau's other movies together have completly bombed. Well I can say that Couples Retreat isnt a bomb, but compared to all the great comedies that have come out this year it ranks pretty low. But thats not to say its a bad movie!

Couples Retreat, which is written by Vaughn and Favreau, revolves around four couples. Vaughn plays Dave, who is an independant game retailer and is currently trying to get Guitar Hero off the ground (funny since its been selling really well everywhere). His partner in life is Ronnie, played by Malin Akerman in probably her first good role. I dont mean to hate on her but The Heartbreak Kid was horrible and in Watchmen she really didnt bring anything to her part at all. This movie however shows off the fact that she IS beautiful (especially as a redhead) but that shes got good acting chops and some surprisingly good comic timing. Dave and Ronnie are the main couple of the movie, with most of the first half of the movie essentially revolving around them. This was probably the smartest decision since all the other couples in the movie really bring the movie down a notch in terms of quality.

Kristen Davis and Jon Favreau play Joey and Lucy, a couple that is essentially just making it until their daughter leaves. They both have cheated numerous times (a fact we see in the trailers but surprisingly not IN the movie) and mostly just yell at each other. Their part is REALLY subdued and edited in this movie, especially in the first half. Its like they wanted to focus on Dave and Ronnie more than anything else. Davis actually does a decent job, playing the wild cougar who openly flirts with any guy with a pulse. Favreau however just looks pissed the whole movie. Its like they were gonna cast someone else and just let him do the behind the scenes stuff, but they couldnt find anyone.

Next is Faizon Love and Kali Hawk playing Shane (nicknamed Daddy most of the movie) and Trudy. They are actually pretty decent in this movie. Shane is that 40 something year old who is dating a 20 year old for the sheer reason he feels grief over his wife leaving him. He puts on a show for Trudy but really he's just hurting and needs someone there. Love brings the token fat guyness to the movie and for the most part he does his job well. Hawk however made me want to stab my eyes out. She is essentially the chick who you hear at the DOL or public places who despite it being a public place will yell everything she says even if its really innapropriate. Maybe that was her part. But my ears bleeding made it hard for me to hear the rest of the movie.

The most dissapointing couple of all is Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell. Bateman, known for playing the funny, dry straight guy, forgets to put the funny into his role. He's really boring in this movie. He doesnt say anything funny or do anything funny, he just mostly goes on and on about rules and regulations and being on time. He's that guy who sits around and makes lists essentially and he's just so grumpy and has a stick up his butt. This is weird considering he has had SO many good roles this year. Bell is just there. She really doesnt do much so I cant really knock her for anything since shes just there.

I will say that there are some really good things about this movie. Vaughn and Ackerman, the setting and set pieces (which are amazing) and the two main people who run Eden: Cstanley and Marcel. Cstanley is played by Peter Serafinowicz. If you dont remember that name he is the lead "scientist" and host of LOOK AROUND YOU, as well as being Pete in Shaun of the Dead, the tv commentator in Run Fatboy Run, and Duane in Spaced. He is one of the great British comedians out there right now and his dry, monotone style is really a very high point of this movie. Everything Cstanley says and does is great in this movie. Same with Jean Reno who plays the director of Eden Marcel. He is that new age guru guy to a tee. Those do it in 30 days kind of people. Reno brings a great element to the movie.

But there are a few things that bother me. One is that all of the therapists get really underused (Ken Jeong, Brian Michael Higgens to name a few. Great comic geniuses) and Cstanley is very underused besides his opening scene and a later one that is both funny and very confusing. The editing in this movie is weird. Its like it wanted to be an R rated comedy but they wanted families to see this movie so they edited out about an hour of film and what we get is a mishmash of dirty R rated stuff (masturbation, happy endings, erection jokes) and family oriented jokes. It cant pick what it wanted to be. But the acting from the side characters and Vaughn and Ackerman make this movie worth seeing. I honestly cant wait for the unrated DVD because that will be the REAL movie and it will be good.


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