Friday, October 9, 2009


My Couples Retreat review?


No it's not the worst comedy in the world.
But it certainly is lame.
Lame, predictable and with about as much bite as a Friends sitcom.

Surprised? I doubt it, but I was disappointed considering the talent available for this one.
As I've being talking about on air, Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughan made a big splash with Swingers in '96. They put their heart on their sleeves, poured their own money into it and made something real, something funny and touching.

You may not have liked the guys hitting the clubs in Swingers but I think you believed them. Do you believe Vince Vaughan as the henpecked husband? Not for a second. It's because Swingers came from a place of truth. Couples Retreat? The place of "Wouldn't it be flash to shoot a film in Bora Bora?"

Alack and alas.

Although I do want to draw your attention to one of my particular hang ups. Trailers That Don't Match Their Movies. If you watch the trailer to Couples Retreat you'll see some shots making it incredibly obvious Jon Favreau and his wife Kristin Davis are cheating on each other.

Now, unless I dozed off it seems those two little moments of infidelity are missing from the movie. Gone. Deleted.

The not-so-happy-couple still act like a couple of cheaters, so why snip out the evidence?
My theory is that when they tested the film audiences didn't like the couple's behaviour. So, bam, it's gone. Although most of us saw it in the trailer anyway. Silly and gutless.

And what about Vince Vaughan? Remember when he first burst on the scene? Sure there was the swagger, but there's was also an edge there. An actor not afraid to push the audience.
So what happened? Well here's his buddy Jon Favreau with the answer. This is from the great show Dinner for 5. It starts with Tony Shalhoub talking about actors who take risks.
(Follow the link or skip ahead to 1.42 in the video below.)

There you go. "Protecting the franchise." Now, of course Favreau wasn't talking about Vaughan there, but it's perfectly applicable. And we all know what the Vince Vaughan franchise is: The smart-ass friend. The angry tall dude with a penchant for put downs. What kills me with something like this is I know Vaughan can be funny. I watched him joshing with the cast during the promotional interviews. He's a naturally charming guy. But not the best choice for a puffy comedy about husbands and wives.

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