Couples Retreat (2009) Poster

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barnstormer-219 October 2009
Having enjoyed Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau in Swingers, I thought that this had a pretty decent chance of being a funny movie.

No dice. This film tries to be a zany comedy and a touching drama at the same time, and fails at both. It starts out well, but somewhere about 20 minutes in, seems to lose its way and it never comes back.

I have seen worse movies, and there are a few funny moments. But by halfway in, I was hoping it would end soon because it was just boring.

The best thing I can say is that this movie will have you wanting to visit Bora Bora because of all the beautiful scenery. Other than that.. meh.
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shockingly unfunny!
bobm550811 November 2009
What a wasted opportunity! They take 2 of our finest comedians, a beautiful cast of hard working actresses, and a great tropical setting and it comes out a stale, lifeless. laugh-free mess. Man, this was painful to watch. Vince fired off a few smile inducing one liners in the start-up domestic setting, and that was the last smile they got out of me. Once the cast was moved to the tropics, everything went wrong. Male on male embarrassment was overused -- about 5 times. Vince tried a few off the wall diatribes that fell flat. Young women swoon over Jon Favereau (huh?!?!) and he ignores the fabulous Kristen Davis?! The pratfalls to marriage are glossed over and play out badly. Every scene seems to last about 5 beats too long. Favereau gets not one, but two masturbation scenes. What??! Neither comes even close to delivering any humor. All 4 couples have shaky or totally damaged relationships and then in a 10 minute whirlwind finale, all solve their problems in a totally superficial way. And I couldn't possibly have cared less about the "Guitar Hero" duel. Yikes!!

I guess I blame the writing for being witless, shallow and lazy. The actors take that material and lay an egg with it. And a 1st time director (the legendary "Ralphie" of "Christmas Story" fame) either couldn't see it or was over-matched by having the writers and producers in front of the camera.

A huge disappointment for me, and shocking that this dribble can gross over $100M at the box office. Any evening of bad TV sitcoms would be just as "enjoyable", and $9 cheaper.
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DVD bargain bins beckon
Troy_Campbell7 October 2009
I'm unsure what is more worrying, that Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau starred in such a mediocre comedy or the fact that they wrote it. Good friends and regular collaborators Vaughn and Favreau have had mixed results in their working partnership: Swingers is a bona-fide cult classic which tore up the indie circuit back in 1996; Made was a disappointment to all those expecting Swingers 2; The Break-Up was a successful guilty pleasure and Four Holidays (Four Christmases in the US) flopped massively at the US box-office. Where does Retreat fit in? Somewhere near Four Holidays – but at least they didn't also write that.

The target audience was obviously never decided upon as the humour seems to cater for everyone. One minute there are mature, real life moments that firmly fit into the "funny because it's true" category, the next there are gags revolving around untimely erections and masturbation that would be right at home in American Pie. Done in the right way and on their own either of these forms of comedy can be brilliant, however mixing them together makes for a muddled experience. There are a few hilarious scenes – the yoga session undoubtedly the most memorable – just nowhere near enough.

Of the cast Vaughn and Akerman come out best, their natural chemistry and adroit comic timing going a long way to keeping the movie afloat. The others don't fare so well. Favreau needs to leave the acting business and focus on writing and directing, it is practically impossible for him to be amusing on screen. Bateman, Bell, Davis and Love all fail to ever get us laughing, whilst the extended cameo from Jean Reno is possibly the worst stuff the experienced Frenchman has ever put on celluloid.

If you are looking for an easy comedy with fabulous locations (and women) then this might do the trick, but I definitely could not recommend spending your had earned cash to see this at the cinema. DVD bargain bins beckon.

2 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)
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Dialog so shallow it was almost appalling.
Sebastian_Berlin15 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I just read a few reviews for "Couples Retreat" here on IMDb and I agree with most of them. A few good laughs in an otherwise mediocre script and a movie that isn't quite sure of its target audience. Rather than repeat what has been said before, I'd like to use the opportunity to talk about an issue that really bothered me. Towards the end, around the time our main characters reach the fabled "Eden East", the jokes recede and the dialog takes on a more serious note. The men start to discuss each other's relationships, which is then followed by a number of appropriate make-up scenes for each of the four couples.

Personally, I feel the dialog in that last fourth of the movie was so shallow it was almost appalling. Please don't get me wrong - I know romantic comedies don't usually enlighten us with deep insights into human love and emotions. But on the other hand I reserve the right not to be bullsh*tted. Have you ever had the feeling someone is trying to lecture you on something you have a far deeper and better understanding of? Picture a European soccer fan explaining baseball to you - you, a Yankees ticket holder all your life. Or maybe an accountant advising you, a hardy fisherman, on how to handle your net. You just want to go "yeah, right", then turn around and leave.

What am I driving at? Well, the point is, that is how I felt about the dialog. I'm not an expert on love, and chances are I never will be. But I know when something rings true and I know when something sounds like hollow garbage. "Once I saw other men, I learned what I have in you." Wow. "He is always planning everything out for us - our relationship feels like a prison." Deep. "If you don't make up with your wife, one day, you'll be sitting at Applebees all by yourself." Oh my, why haven't I thought about this before.

Where I live we have a saying: "If you don't have a clue about it - just shut up." During the last twenty minutes of this movie, I had the violent urge to grab Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn and shake them until they stop selling me those trivialities like ancient wisdom. I sometimes wonder - is it just me? Do I have a weird perception of things? Maybe most viewers are actually severely touched by those scenes and I am just an insensitive rock? Honestly, I'd be interested to see a statistic.

Apart from that, I'm willing to admit there were some enjoyable moments. The boy's first toilet scene made me burst out with laughter. But by far the best thing about the movie was the setting - so beautiful and sunny it made me forget the winter for two hours. And that's worth something.
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Why do people hate this?
irishdancingmonkey19 August 2018
I don't understand why everyone hates this movie and thinks it isn't funny! This movie is a favorite in my group of friends. We constantly quote it!
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worse than you think
emcm551711 October 2009
I'm not sure what movie the other reviewers on here watched but it wasn't the same movie i watched, this movie sucked pretty badly. I could see the whole sarah marshal thing it was trying to replicate but it fell short on every level, the writing was terrible, not at all witty and none of the characters were believable although Vince was OK, he was the exact same character he plays in every movie. The ending felt as if they couldn't think of anything so they just ended it predictibly...

I could go on, but i know they will just keep making these money makers and ill keep paying to see them...

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Worst movie I've seen in a while...
glyeakley25 September 2010
I watched this for free On Demand and still felt ripped off. Where do I start? The tone is so uneven that the scenes with the therapists are played straight despite the fact that two of them were played by John Michael Higgins and Ken Jeong, two guys who must struggle NOT to get laughs. It is almost as if they hired the actors and then decided to go a different direction -- if they even put that much thought into it. Before this debacle finally and mercifully staggers to an end it starts to feel as if they are literally making it up as they go along. There is no clear reason for this movie to even exist except as an excuse for the cast and crew to enjoy an nice tropical vacation, squeezing in a little movie work while they are there. Lazy, unprofessional filmmaking that is an insult to the audience.
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The last half more than kills the opening first-half fun
archiecm13 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Are we supposed to want these couples to get help? (which 75% of them needed.) On second thought, I don't even want to go there.

The movie keeps jerking you here and there like you're a ball on an elastic. Jason (Jason Bateman) misleads the other couples by saying therapy is optional at the retreat because he can't afford the trip by himself. But it's mandatory. From what we know of the characters so far, most would want a refund since none are the soul-searching type. Whatever they paid, a refund seems the most likely solution. (They can sue later for the airline fares.) But instead the other couples give in with little protest which strained credibility for me. What then, is their motivation now? Joey (Favreau) just wants to get off; Shane (Faison Love) wants to pretend he's young and also avoid the pain of his divorce; Dave and Ronnie (Vaughn and Akerman) go along because they're good sports. and Jason (Bateman) wants to control his wife. Are there some laughs here? Can we laugh if we OVERLOOK the inconsistencies? I did but only a little. Stanley the yoga teacher made me laugh even though he was very non yogi-like. The therapists were funny because they were right at times and then too aggressive and revealing at others. That wasn't so funny.

And when they start "Operation Eden East" the movie dies a slow death. Favreau just wants to get off with strange stuff and this motivates the whole party to follow along. Even if they find Trudy (Hawk) it's unlikely she'll return with them. She's an adult. Eden East is a fake temptation that they all drift towards so the audience can buy into the rapprochements at the end. (Oh those lost and immature single people.) The utmost in unbelievability was the surprise entrance of Faison's ex-wife. Nothing in the story laid any grounds for that surprise. Wouldn't Faison have known if she were even slightly ambivalent about the divorce? Someone writing the ending wanted to sew up every couple relationship no matter how unlikely it might fit the story as told so far.

Joey's makeup with Shane was also totally unbelievable. There was no groundwork for it. They hadn't so much as smiled at each other throughout the whole movie. I was really enjoying Cynthia's new freedom from control freak Jason until she caved in and gave him another chance. She needed to test his promise to change for about six months first. Instead she bought the farm after five minutes.

Believable and fun was the makeup between Vaugh and Akerman. They realized that they'd always been OK. But I'd seen too much BS by then.

One more thing: when you bang a gong you need to remove the hammer or it will prevent the gong from vibrating. The way it was in the film (leaving the hammer against the brass) would have produced a big thud. Like the movie, in fact
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Hilarious at times, but never really strives to be more than average
DonFishies7 October 2009
Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) are dangerously close to getting a divorce. In a last ditch effort to save their marriage, they decide to take a vacation to a tropical resort meant to help ailing couples through therapy. Short on cash, they enlist help from their friends to offset the cost through a group rate: the kid-raising Dave (Vince Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman), the lovelessly married Joey (Jon Favreau) and Lucy (Kristen Davis), and the recently divorced Shane (Faizon Love) and his much younger girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk). The three other couples think they are just going to have fun and help their friends, but they realize they are in for having their relationships examined as well.

Couples Retreat is not a bad film by any means, but it never seems to strive to be a great one either. It seems perfectly content at being average; a harmless diversion not meant to really do much outside of mildly entertain the audience.

Leaving aside some rather obvious and unexplained age issues between the couples, the film does not throw any punches with its storyline. It never wavers from its basic premise, and stays on a fairly straight and predictable path. Subplots involving the resort's employees materialize and disappear just as fast. And while it does not necessarily drag at any real moments, there are more than a few instances where some scenes are emphasized much longer than others that probably could have done with more emphasis. By the time the film's ending hits, it feels abrupt and almost like a missed opportunity for more gags and characterization that could have only benefited everyone involved. The film does do a great job of blasting through basic backstories for everyone involved within the opening ten minutes, but does not do nearly enough of a job convincing us of the evolution they go through while on vacation.

While some will find this film to be hilarious from beginning to end, I cannot help but wonder how much funnier it really could have been. Yes, there are some hilarious moments sprinkled throughout the film, and some moments that are merely humorous, but there are a ton of awkward and juvenile moments that easily could have been done away with. From the start, the film sets itself up as skewing towards an older crowd, but then relies on gross out and absurd moments (specifically involving Favreau, who co-wrote the script and presumably picked his own part) that belong in a direct-to-video sequel to American Pie. These moments really took me out of the film, and just begged the question why they even bothered placing them in here at all. Worse yet, there are more than a handful of moments that simply are not funny at all, no matter how forced the actors make them.

What I really enjoyed however, as I did with the far superior Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was how it dealt with the very real trauma of a disintegrating relationship. Couples Retreat takes the high road by loading the film with comic imagery and dialogue to offset the devastating and bitter arguments. They never shy away from hiding the truth of the pain and hurt feelings these characters go through, but they tend to not over accentuate these moments for the sake of staying within the realm of comedy. I can appreciate that, because at the end of the day, everyone wants to be entertained at the movies, and watching characters yell and put each other down in a comedy is not anyone's definition of a comedy (although a well made drama like Revolutionary Road can pull it off). I only mention this because of The Break-Up, a supposed comedy about a couple's breakup. The film, again starring Vaughn and Favreau, was just horrifically disappointing and near pathetic in its attempts at entertaining an audience. A mess of ideas and ill-placed and near non-existent humour made that film almost unwatchable. But in Couples Retreat, the drama and the comedy are balanced so easily that it makes one question how a movie like The Break-Up could have failed on so many counts.

The acting is not extraordinary, but it is fairly well done. The men seem to do a lot better than the women in all cases (likely because of how much more seems to be written for them), but then three of the four main male actors have spent much of the past decade working in comedy. The comical repairing of Vaughn and Favreau does wonders for the film, making it all the more watchable. Favreau puts in some really great work as a man just counting down the days until he and his wife file for divorce. While he is saddled with the worst scenes in the film, he delivers the strongest and most consistent work. Vaughn plays the resentful know-it-all character he has been perfecting for years now, but he is more muted here than he is in the likes of Wedding Crashers. Bateman does good in his role, but he never really stretches his character out at any moment. Love shows hints of really making something of his character, but never manages to move outside of being the obvious comic fodder.

Of the female characters, I really enjoyed Bell's performance the best. Hawk never really gets a chance to do much of anything, Davis seems too old for her character (and a bit too close to her role in Sex and the City), and Akerman just never really impresses. I liked her better in Watchmen, and she was one of the weakest things about that movie.

Far from perfect, Couples Retreat is a decent film that never strives to be more than average. It has quite a few laughs, and some respectably dramatic scenes. If you go in not expecting much, you will not come out disappointed.

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Can someone please tell me what the problem is . ..
mollicone_a19 October 2009
Can someone please tell me what the problem is . ..

There are better films out there, however i still think this movie delivered laughs .. . Vaughn, Bateman, & Favreau did what they do best, and provided audiences with clever and witty performances. Bell, Davis and Ankerman also did a fantastic job. The scenery is beautiful and breathtaking which only complements the movie even further. Granted the story line was a little weak but what were you expecting?

This isn't a serious drama nor is it a pasionate romance . .. its a comedy! so loosen up and be prepared to watch a fun flick which measures up and delivers .. .
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Very Funny Very good
cramorataps24 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This was a very funny movie. It not only had humor, it had heart and redeeming values. All the scenes with the individual Therapy Sessions were particularly funny. All the actors are strong, and the rapport with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau has not lost a step. The nicest surprise in this film would have to be the banter between Vaughn and Peter Serafinowicz. The movie also pleasures visually with the scenery of Bora Bora. Some people may very well be offended by the yoga instructor, although he adds to the comedy as well. The children in the movie are cute, and provide some humor, but have small parts, the movie is mostly taking place at the retreat Island known as "Eden". I enjoyed this film and would recommend it for at least a few viewings.
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The Cast, Crew and Producers should be ashamed.
duxdudex-556-90532715 October 2009
If your idea of Comedy consist of juvenile dirty jokes that center around masturbating and sticking your private parts into other peoples faces, then this is your kind of movie. If your idea of Entertainment is watching four narcissistic, sexually depraved adults trying to cope with married life, then this is your kind of movie. The photography and location are fantastic. Casting did a great job in booking the talent. Peter did a good job on the set. The plot could work with better writers. The story was weak and fragmented. I would recommend this movie only if you have absolutely nothing else to do on a cold rainy day and you're craving Popcorn. My rating is F+ for great scenery. The Cast, Crew and Producers should be ashamed.
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Couple of Laughs
GarethBeaumains12 October 2009
Went by myself. Ironic, neh? It wasn't Wedding Crashers or Dodgeball, but a mildly funny, watchable movie nonetheless. Don't go expecting Shakespeare.

Its take on modern romance is mostly positive: people have good and bad parts of them, but we can all learn to love our spouses better. Though the actors did fairly well with the material, the jokes needed more polish. A few of the best performances were from the couples' counselors and other members of the resort staff, including my favorite, "Chewbacca." The most ludicrous moment for me was the gifting of the animal spirits by Jean Reno. They were all rather unfunny until Vince Vaughan received his. He made a comment to his wife before he kisses her that was typical classic Vince.

However, the movie is a bit too lagging between its laughs to really be a great comedy, and lacked a true heart of pathos for you to really connect with any of the characters. It ends up a caricature of the couples getaway industry and our modern society.

In the film, one of the wives jumps out of her canoe to get away from her annoying husband. Ticked off, she swims to shore alone. Perhaps some fans might be tempted to do the same, and bail out of the movie.

This could easily have been a better movie. Better writing. Better cinematography. Better delivery by the cast. But as it was, I'd say it was marginally worth a matinée and the price of popcorn.

Scale of 1 to 10: 5.
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Mindless comedy that borders on the pathetic
brettchatz-12 January 2010
Couples Retreat pits the comedic talents of Vince Vaughn and a capable cast against one another. The storyline is as tired as old leather, but there are just enough witty remarks to keep this trite comedy drifting along.

A group of friends decides to go to a heavenly tropical island resort named Eden, to repair their failing marriages. Eden is everything and more - with idyllic settings, sparkling waters and some of the most gorgeous staff.

But what goes on at Eden stays in Eden - because these couples have a lot of fixing up to do.

If you're interested in mindless action, little suspense and total predictability in a holiday-season caper - then Couples Retreat is your overdose of inane, draining comedy.
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Not as bad as reviewers say
camanderson20103 June 2010
Couples retreat is really not a bad movie. A lot of people complain about the lack of comedy or that the movie is unsure of its target audience. I disagree with both of these.

Sure this movie is NOT what you would expect when you hear the word comedy, but it seems to fall into its own sub-comedy genre, much like the recent Adam Sandler flick, Funny People. You aren't going to sit on your couch laughing till your "thing" falls off, but you will enjoy a simple and relaxing movie while enjoying a few cheap giggles at the relatable characters and situations they find themselves in.

Jon Faverau is gold, as you would expect by now. Vince Vaughn plays his usual cynical, monotonous character, but you expect this from him by now and the comedy of this style of acting bleeds through.

I will not try to say that Couples Retreat is a good movie by a critic's point of view, but it's just a movie that you can pick up on DVD watch and then put away until another time you feel like watching it again.
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Favreau is the new Vaughn
TimmyDumples22 September 2009
Going into a screening of "Couples Retreat" I wasn't expecting much due to the weak sack trailer/ads that were being pushed by the studio. But thankfully I was wrong. Although it wasn't close to their best, Vaughn and Favreau still know how to make you laugh. Vaughn was doing his normal act (which at this point he seems to be kicking a dead horse) but all in all he helped the film and didn't distract. Now Favreau wrote himself a little gem in this movie as the guy who is sick of his marriage and just wants to be carefree again. The film has an excellent cast but Favreau definitely stole the show. Every time he was on the screen he was dropping some funny business. All the supporting actors did a great job as well. Was expecting more from Ken Jeong but he wasn't given much to work with. (Has it now become mandatory to put Ken in every movie that comes out just because?) The location was beautiful and they used it wisely. Carlos Ponce also gave an unforgettable performance as the creepy yoga instructor. He was actually at the screening I was at to get a taste of the people erupting with laughter every time he was on screen. Seemed like I was the only one who recognized him to due his change in appearance from the movie. As for all those people who are trying to tag this as a Sarah Marshall ripoff, they couldn't be further from the truth. This movie is set in a tropical location and has Kristen Bell in it. That and it being funny are the only things alike. If you are fan of movies and like to laugh than you might as well see it.
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Avoid at all cost.....
headly6627 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I knew I was in for a treat when I got at least 2 pee and 5 ball sack jokes in the first ten minutes of this trite excursion into dullsville. Everyone here plays exactly what you would expect of them, basically themselves in real life. This must have taken very little time to make and seems to just be a paycheck for the actors. The plot is ridiculously contrived, a couple is having troubles so to reassess their lives they want to go to a beautiful retreat but can't afford it even though they seem rich so they force their friends to go also on a weeks notice. The club is said to be so hard to get into but for some reason they offer half price for 4 couples, which makes a lot of sense. Their only black friend who seems completely out of place here (and not because he's black) has no money but who is buying a motorcycle somehow, can also go with his 20 year old love tart whom everyone has no problem with joining them even though she obviously only cares that he buys her things but agrees to go through couples counseling even though they just met.

Once on the island they are now informed they have to do what the retreat has planed for them and are again told there is a very long waiting list, but they again got a 1/2 price deal just for being them.

The next painful hour is spent creating one ridiculous scenario after another like when they all have to undress and all the other men are allowed to keep their underwear on except the guy with pants has to go naked in front of his friends wives.

This is one of the silliest pieces of junk to come along in a while.
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Failed attempt at mediocrity
jsorenson7771 May 2010
An idiotic script interpreted by illiterates.

Makes Adam Sandler look like the genius he thinks he is.

Couple's Retreat was bad in so many ways. The characters were not likable and they had no depth. The relationships were undeveloped and thus unbelievable. We were just supposed to accept them. The story was inane. The acting was unprofessional, but that may well have been because of horrid direction.

This thing fails miserably as a comedy, except for the few dramatic attempts, which were funny.

Might have been a good excuse for a bunch of people to go off to a tropical island and pretend to do work. Too bad they had audiences come out to look at the finished product, which should have never been finished, or started
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Painfully inadequate
phd_travel31 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Vince Vaughan and Jon Favreau are not good enough to write a full length movie comedy. There just aren't enough jokes or a decent enough story to carry this movie. Most of the jokes fall flat. Not even worth a chuckle. Didn't anyone read the script first? The lewd jokes are just lewd not funny.

The cast just seems bewildered. Kristen Davis and Kristen Bell are totally wasted. The part with Carlos Ponce is pathetic.

Don't bother watching this at all - there are no redeeming features. Not even a pretty set can help. In this day and age it is amazing they can produce such low mentality stuff for audiences.
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Forget it!
ltsc31051 November 2009
After paying to see this turkey, it became obvious why Vince Vaughn is both the writer and producer - he couldn't find anyone willing to invest his/her money. As for being the writer, most 6th graders could have done as well. I thought perhaps that Jason Bateman could rescue the film, as he has been in some good movies recently, but he proved to be the most unlikeable obnoxious character I have seen in months. My wife and I go to the movies about 3-4 times a month, so I guess it was time for a loser to appear.

The only characters with any redeeming value were the women, with the exception of the 20-year old ditz with a voice like Woody Woodpecker. She was at this retreat with a guy twice her age so he must have been wealthy or had some unseen attribute.
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Had potential but turned out to be nothing special
Smells_Like_Cheese26 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing the trailer for Couples Retreat, I wanted to see this movie, I had to see this movie, I also promised Vince Vaughn I would, lol. I met him at a Blackhawk's game a couple weeks prior to seeing this movie and I told him I was excited to see it and he said "you promise to see it?", gotta give the man credit for plugging in the movie into our conversation, lol. But even with that, I still wanted to see this movie, it did look honestly funny, but I didn't get to see it until the Monday after it opened originally. I was hearing some bad or okay reviews which disappointed me. But in my opinion, it doesn't matter, it's what you think of the movie, so I still saw it. While the movie wasn't bad, it definitely is something that is forgettable. It just became a typical romantic comedy at the end that really disappointed me. I'll explain why it's a disappointment in a moment.

After several failed attempts to conceive, Jason and Cynthia are close to getting a divorce. In an effort to save their marriage they book a vacation to a couples therapy retreat, called Eden. To save money they encourage their friends to join them, and claim that their friends can enjoy the party activities and not take part in the therapy. Their friends, Dave and Ronnie, Joey and Lucy, and recently divorced Shane and his girlfriend Trudy agree. Upon their arrival at Eden, they are sent to the couples resort on the west side of the island, and forbidden from traveling to East Eden, which hosts a singles resort. During their first night, resort host Sctanley informs all four couples that they must all engage in the couples therapy or leave the resort. At their first therapy session, all four couples learn they have problems with their relationships. They endure the resort owner Marcel's unusual methods, including swimming with sharks, naked bonding time, and yoga sessions with amorous instructor.

Couples Retreat is worth the watch for a rental when you're looking for a movie night. Because there are a few good laughs herd an there. I was just bummed on how they handled the jokes. Like the shark bite joke, the couples go scuba diving and happened to get a company of sharks, one MAY of took a baby bite out of Vince Vaughn. Now it's funny how he reacts to it, just making it seem like he just got attacked by Jaws. But they carry on the joke for 10 minutes and makes the scene very uncomfortable and instead you just feel like one of the characters who are ready to scream at him "ok, get over it!". Also the ending was so predictable and a little too coincidental. One of the guy's ex's just happens to be there because she heard he was going there and wanted to get back together. Of course magically all the couples rekindle their old flames for each other and are happy. Like I said, it's worth the rental, but as for a movie theater experience, you can wait. Sorry Vince, guess I'll have to wait until the next film to see if you still got that comedic gold.

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Just Retreat
thesar-21 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I'm sure I've said this before, but I don't know how they could've made Couples Retreat any less funny. And they had an all star cast, full of comic appeal. But, it seemed more like a "Rat Pack" excuse to get everyone together and on a very nice island.

Actually, that's probably the only reason the movie was made: everyone got a nice vacation on a beautiful oasis.

And it was beautiful. The water, the mountains, the greenery. The enormously fake-CGI sharks, not so much.

Unfortunately, the laughs and the weak and predictable plot were made from the same crummy computer that produced the sharks.

Four despicable sitcom couples are conned by one of the couples into a therapy journey on a gorgeous and tropical island. Will they or won't they learn to accept and listen to each other? Is anyone serious they can't see how this will pan out? Also, is there any indication of a "surprise" or "twist"? Hardly.

In addition to the typical homophobic scenes and almost zero laughs (even the ones that made me half-snicker were so foretold that I was almost bored waiting for them to appear), we have horrible editing and plot holes big enough for the cartoon sharks to swim through. Scenes just start and stop with no rhyme or reason, characters complain of being too tired or beat up but we never learn what made them sluggish and some couples participate in activities while others are off the screen for an extended time and regroup with everyone without an explanation.

If it weren't for the beautiful cinematography, I would've fallen asleep at the beginning. It was as if it was a screensaver, so I'm surprised I didn't snooze. (Ironically, the only truthful thing about this mess was a character commenting about the scenery as I just did – it was like a screensaver.) Suffice to say, like the equally brain-dead (though contains a breathtaking island) A Perfect Getaway, you should break up with these couples before your time is wasted. Heck, it was 113 minutes when it should've been 22 for the normal sitcom it replicated. Don't let paradise fool you: SKIP IT.
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Couples Retreat: What Happens in the Bedroom, Stays on the Cutting Room Floor
Ayreesfoxx19 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
It's no surprise that the concept of a "romance gone awry" is old. Not only is it old, it's tired, beaten, and worn down to the point that you can see through to the action and drama sections of your local movie store. So when picking up Couples Retreat, remember that it's a story that has already exhausted all possibilities. Director Peter Billingsley tried his best with what he had – a great cast of actors and an amazing location to work with – but that's only going to get you so far if the oil in the engine needs replacing.

Writers and stars in the picture John Favreau and Vince Vaughn depict a time where their friends' marriages are not so fantastic. Joey (Favreau) and his wife Lucy (Kristen Davis) are only staying together long enough to allow their daughter to go to college, while Dave (Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman) are stuck in a rut full of kids, work, and home renovations. Their friend Shane (Fazion Love) is getting over a divorce and in need of support.

As you get acquainted with the groups, the last pair Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) recommends a supposed paradise for couples to help everyone reconnect (they themselves were considering a divorce after not being able to conceive a child). It's here that you begin to notice the generalities of each character and you can almost pick the scenarios in which they are going to get back together or fix their issues by the end of the movie - and therein lies the problem.

As you see their shortcomings, you know how they are going to fix it all up. Joey and Lucy are angry and spiteful at each other, but you can never figure out why. That's fine however, because it's doesn't mean anything (besides, it even looks like Vaughn and Favreau forgot to write it in the script anyway). Shane is divorced yet continually talks about his ex-wife, which entitles her to show up at the last 15 minutes of the movie without any preconceived explanation. It's all just following the exact same trends that have been passed down ever since "When Harry Met Sally," only sloppily done.

Once on the island, the tropical and magical atmosphere of Bora Bora (to them Eden West) doesn't make anything better. The movie begins to run on the cheesy one-liners, the over-the-top sexual antics, and extended jokes that go on for far too long. Even with help from respected French actor Jean Reno, they manage to turn him into a useless piece of plot manipulation.

Truthfully, it's a wonder that Billingsley didn't just throw caution to the wind and just give it the R-rating. More than likely with the extra jokes and added content included, it would have brought the plot at least to a bearable standing and they wouldn't have pushed so many seemingly outdated jokes. Yet that is what you are going to run into when you are making a movie with the premise of "trying to save the love."

To be honest, don't even bother. Unless you are really trying to see a specific actor or actress in the movie (and even then you have to work for it), it's not enough to try. You might be better off and just watch something on prime-time television instead if you're looking for the actor's route. After all, half of the cast was in something else before this and nothing is sweeter than starting out fresh.
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Hey, It's Vince Vaughn starring as his only character...Vince Vaughn
dsfresh6 May 2010
I must start my review by stating I did not finish this movie, nor did I even think to bother with the "alternate ending"; although I wish there was an "alternate movie".

I won't describe the plot for obvious spoiler purposes, but I will describe one aspect of this movie that really upset me. After 30 minutes of viewing, I noticed that the black actors in this movie were being duped. Well, maybe they were duping other black people for taking the gig.

Faizon's character was a black man who was broke, had a thing for young women, and always borrows money from Vince Vaughn. Kali's character was a woman with multiple boyfriends, money hungry, and couldn't speak proper English. Every stereotype was fulfilled with these two characters. They both had little lines in the script, and absolutely no banter with the other white actors. Matter of fact, every time they spoke, no one would respond; there would be blank stares. Of course they gave Faizon a typical catch-phrase; bang-bang. How original.

Anyways, I'm white and I can see the racism bleeding through the screen as it is so obvious. That's why this movie grabbed about 50 minutes of my time. Hopefully people will just leave this one alone.

Not to mention, the script is soulless. That's why I am so heartless.
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All About Expectations
teresecavaggioni25 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A lot may be surprised at seeing 8/10, but hopefully by the end you'll understand why. Going into this movie with two friends no one was really expecting much, especially me who hates cliché romance comedy films. Maybe though that is why I was able to crack up at the stupid/lame humor throughout the film. My friends and I, along with the rest of the theater, died laughing when the yoga guy was "assisting" all of them.

This movie didn't have a single new/exciting aspect that other films romance comedies try to achieve (except maybe all the guys weren't that attractive). Based on what your purpose is in seeing this film, it doesn't have to be. I make jokes/comments while watching movies in general, and this one definitely allows you to enjoy it but also talk to your friends without them "wanting to watch" If you are looking for a movie that moves you in some way or has some new aspect to it, I can understand giving it a crappy rating/review. For those who are just hanging out with friends looking for something that allows you to get a few laughs + talk without feeling like the film requires everyone be silent I highly suggest it. I don't plan on buying it when it comes out, but I enjoyed the experience and how happy everyone seemed to be as a result.
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