If ever there was need for an example of the whole not adding up to the sum of its parts, then let Couples Retreat hereby stand as Exhibit A. How can you get a sub-par movie if you take the comic motor-mouth that is Vince Vaughn, pair him with his swinging buddy Jon Favreau — both in front and behind the camera (co-scripters) — add Jason Bateman to the mix along with Faizon Love, Kristin Davis and Jean Reno (and notice I didn’t even mention the twinkling celestial bodies of Malin Akerman and Kristen Bell) and drop them in a tropical paradise? Leave them to their own devices without any sense of direction.
That’s what Peter Billingsley did.
The movie assembles four couples in relationships in various stages of duress and quickly trots them off to an island paradise where all of their problems will be solved — not before they go out of their ways to make things much worse, of course. We know the routine, and we know the outcome, so why didn’t the snarly Vaughn and Favreau think of some way to tweak our expectations just a little bit? Instead of swinging for the fences, the guys laid down a bunt with two outs and got thrown out rather easily.
The season’s over, and this Retreat should close down quickly so its cast can get home and enjoy doing absolutely nothing, which is exactly what they’re doing here. Grade: D