Malin ├ůkerman and Vince Vaughn in Couples Retreat (2009)

Bore-a Bore-a

"Couples Retreat" looks like the sort of movie that they had fun making, Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau messing around on Bora-Bora with their friends. Unfortunately that sense of fun never materialises for the audience making "Couples Retreat" feel like bore-a bore-a. In fairness it's not terrible, a good cast helps to make it watchable but for a comedy so much of the humour fails which is probably down to it trying to cater for everyone and never delivering something for one target audience.

When over analytical Jason (Jason Bateman - Up in the Air) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) declare to their friends they are contemplating divorce because they haven't been able to have children, everyone is shocked. But their friends which include Dave (Vince Vaughn - Four Christmases) and his wife Ronnie (Malin ┼kerman), Joey (Jon Favreau) and his wife Lucy (Kristin Davis) as well as recently divorced Shane (Faizon Love) and his young girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk) agree to go to Eden with them, a couple resorts where they hope to either sort things out or agree to split. The trouble is that whilst Jason is happy to do all the couples therapy the rest of the gang isn't, expecting instead to enjoy the white beaches and blue oceans instead of being forced to do therapy sessions and yoga.

Kristen Bell and Jason Bateman in Couples Retreat (2009)

"Couples Retreat" is a simple movie but one which is strangely hard to describe because for the simple fact it is a movie which seems to be trying to cater to all. Now the basic premise is that we have these 4 couples which head to this beautiful resort with 1 couple looking to make a decision over their marriage whilst the other 3 looking to drink and holiday. But then this is where it all splits up because they have to do the couple skills courses and so each couple have their own various issues from Shane unable to keep up with his young girlfriend to Joey and Lucy having married when he knocked her up at high school dealing with their forced relationship. It is a case that each of these couples is meant to represent a different aspect of marriage but it makes it diverse.

This diverseness also means the humour is diverse from Jason being over analytical to Dave and Ronnie just getting through things. It's not that the jokes are unfunny in fact a joke about one of Dave's boys using a toilet in a bathroom showroom is funny but so very few of them really spark into life. It feels more of a case that the guys had more fun making the movie than the audience does watching it.

Now what will probably disappoint more is the fact that "Couples Retreat" stars Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau but neither put in that great a performance. Neither does the rest of the cast which includes Jason Bateman, Faizon Love, Malin ┼kerman, Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis and Kali Hawk and it comes down to too much diversity and not having a focus on one couple delivering one style of humour. In the end "Couples Retreat" ends up more memorable for Carlos Ponce as Salvadore, the yoga instructor who with a boom-boom likes to get hands on.

What this all boils down to is that "Couples Retreat" is not a terrible comedy just one which wallows in mediocrity. I am sure the cast and the crew had a good time making the movie on beautiful Bora-Bora but that good time never makes it to the audience.