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A 2009 comedy film directed by Peter Billingsley

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Yet Another Sex Comedy Without...You Know, The Sex

  • Nov 14, 2009
  • by
Rating:
-3
Couples Retreat

Title: Couples Retreat
Director: Peter Billingsley
Staring: Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love, Kristen Davis, Mail Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kaij Hawk, Jean Reno
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Genre(s): Comedy
Rated:

 

PG-13

 

 

(For on appeal for sexual content and language)  

Buy From Amazon.com: Soundtrack / Soundtrack (MP3) / Poster

 

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“Couples Retreat” is not a movie that is so intellectually bankrupt that it couldn’t have been good. Had Judd Apatow, Kevin Smith, or Jason Reitman gotten a hold of this movie I think we would have gotten a much better and funny movie. Yes, it would have been edgier and more vulgar, but these are men who know dialog, human relationships, and sexual tension better then anyone else. Even Nancy Meyers would have been able to make something out of this screenplay. The director of this movie is Peter Billingsley. Never heard of him? Neither had I. I Binged his name (because I’ve been developing a slow distrust of Google products) and discovered he is small actor who directed one previous film in 1994 called “The Sacred Fire,” which is a film I never saw or heard of before. Most likely because it was only thirteen minutes in length.

What’s all this got to do with “Couples Retreat?” More then you realize. Movies like these make me mad because there are moments of brilliance. There are moments of heart. There are moments of deep feelings. But these are moments, and in most cases these moments are manufactured. Chances are you’ve seen the ads where Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, and many other overpaid bicker with each other. They bicker over stupid things like dishes, jobs, and how they’ve grown apart. I suspect most of them have grown apart because they don’t talk like any real people would, but what do I know? I’m just the guy who hangs out with real married couples on occasion, even those whose marriages aren’t in the best of shape, and I’ve never seen them act or talk like characters in these movies.

A real writer/director would take this screenplay and make it real. They would make an honest movie out of it. The Buddhist therapist would talk like a real Buddhist rather then walk around acting like a caricature of a Sunday comic strip. But no, a movie like “Couples Retreat” is not meant to be smart. It’s not meant to be intelligent. In fact, despite the fact that it’s about couples in their forties and older, it’s amazing that it’s not even geared for that demographic. This is a movie made for teenagers. It contains the easiest jokes, the most obvious puns, and the stupidest disagreements. The real star of this movie is Vince Vaughn acting like Vince Vaughn. If you can relate to this character then your life is sad and pathetic, and maybe you do need therapy.

And if you’re wondering why I haven’t bothered to explain the story it’s because there’s no purpose to. Bickering couples go to a pleasure resort and...well what else do you expect to happen? Shouting, slipping, boob, erection, and bare butt jokes cover this movie. None of this is surprising, nor is the fact that all the men (save for Batemen) are fat slobs while the women are all beautiful sex Goddesses. And frankly, save for one (the Vaughn character if you can believe it), all the men are complete jerks, and the women look incompetent for putting up with them. No, I brought up the directors above because those men and women wouldn’t have gone for these obvious jokes.

It may have been a typical script when they got it, but I can bet by the end of the day they would have written something far more memorable. But when a movie is made to appeal to teenagers who don’t know what a funny movie is anymore, with stars who really should get better agents, and marketers who don’t know how to sell their movie on anything other THAN the “star power” on the poster, then I frankly don’t know why I should be surprised people flock to spend their hard earned money on movies like these! They’ve been brain washed to just accept it. Before this movie came out I saw two girls looking at the poster. They had never heard about but thought it looked good. Based on what? All you see are people standing in shallow water. I was wanted to question them about this but didn’t. The irony about this moment finally hit me while I was writing this review.




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December 04, 2009
Thanks for the heads up. I would have watched it because of the actors. I hate when every good scene is in the trailers, leaving nothing new to laugh at while viewing the entire movie.
 
November 29, 2009
sounds like a rental. Good review.
November 29, 2009
I am watching this for Kristin Davis and that chick from "Forgetting Sarah.."
 
1
More Couples Retreat reviews
review by . October 13, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
In the newest comedic attempt from Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, we are treated to four very different couples that, of course, are all friends and all very cliche. We have the Type A, control freak couple, the seemingly perfect couple where the wife feels taken advantage of, the newly divorced and dating a 20-year-old guy and finally, the high school sweethearts who feel like they lost out by marrying young.       The Type A, control freak couple (played convincingly enough …
review by . June 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Maybe it's because I'm married and am sick of all of the immature trash that passes for comedy today, but I actually liked Couples Retreat. One thing I appreciated about this movie is that it's not too vulgar or explicit - well, at least by today's standards. I think it's something adults could watch, not just teenagers. It has a good script with some witty lines and funny scenes that toy around with uncomfortable sexual tension but in a funny way (although the yoga scene went on a bit too long). …
Quick Tip by . May 31, 2010
Laugh out loud fun- not for kids
Quick Tip by . April 17, 2010
Pretty good movie. No Hang Over but I was entertained.
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #57
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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Wiki

Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau team up after their '90s career-making hit,Swingers, to write and costar inCouples Retreat, a romantic comedy that's heavy on the satire, but is also knowing and wry, asSwingersis at its best. Vaughn and Favreau are joined in the top-notch cast by the always engaging Kristin Bell (whose appearance with Vaughn, in a romantic tropical setting, may remind viewers ofForgetting Sarah Marshall), Jason Bateman, Kristin Davis (Sex and the City), Faizon Love, and Jean Reno. Fans of romantic comedies, and comedies of manners, will be delighted at the snappy interaction among the actors, and the zingers delivered by the script.

"You are not buying some 20-year-old broad a motorcycle!" yells Vaughn's character, Dave, to Love's character, Shane, who's having an early midlife crisis. "She's a kid! Buy her a Hello Kitty book!" Turns out that all the couples in Dave and Shane's circle are having issues, and decide to take a group tropical vacation. Ah, but there's a catch: the island getaway comes with mandatory couples counseling and bonding events. Most of the film's laughs come from cringe-worthy fish-out-of-water moments, though there are some pretty great fish-in-water moments, too: Dave begins to panic during a test involving swimming with sharks. "It's time to get the gun, and shoot some fish!"

Reno is also a standout, as the unctuous New Age-y director of the retreat, ...

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Details

Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: Warner Bros Pictures

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