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Couples Retreat

Vince Vaughn isn’t just a brilliant improvisational comedian, but also a great writer. John Favreau might be all over the internet in a few months for Ironman 2, but in the mean time he’ll be alongside Kristen Bell and Kristin Davis in a tropical paradise working out their relationship issues in one hell of a funny movie. Also starring Jason Bateman, Malin Akerman (Watchmen), Faizon Love and Jean Reno, Couples Retreat takes four couples to a supposed luxury vacation and sticks them into seemingly endless rounds of couples skill building sessions.

The acting and the cast are phenomenal and the script is strong until the final fifteen minutes when the outcome to some of the stories becomes a little forced and fairytale. Maybe the ending was changed to avoid the backlash that people expressed from the bittersweet finale to Vaughn’s the Breakup with Jennifer Aniston. Either way, it doesn’t ruin the entire movie and now equipped with this knowledge, you should be able to effectively manage your expectations accordingly for maximum enjoyment. Most of the script is exceedingly well balanced to show both sides of any argument a couple might be having, much like in real life and nothing like the bullshit one expects to find if they were watching a Sandra Bullock movie.

You could watch this movie for any number of reasons, but here are a few highlights if you’re looking one. The girls spend most of the time in bikinis and that’s so nice… So nice! Jean Reno plays such a weird character as the couples’ counseling guru, and although it’s a far cry from his usual tough guy roles like Leon the Professional, it’s a good fit for him. Vince Vaughn has one scene in the movie that justifies the existence of Guitar Hero, (as if it needed one)  and while I’m sure it’ll date the movie in the future, it captures the zeitgeist of the moment beautifully. Did I mention that Kristen Bell spends a large portion of the movie half naked?

The DVD extras include an alternate ending and deleted scenes, (which are all best left on the cutting room floor but nice to see for those of us who are interested), a gag reel, a couple featurettes (on the location and filming) and a commentary with Vaughn and the director. Great movie, decent package. (And I’m not talking about Kristen Bell again, although maybe I should be. Bikini people, bikini.)

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