film review: Couples Retreat (2009)3 Comments
With Couples Retreat I wasn’t pleasantly surprised. It was pretty much as I expected. A bit of seriousness, a bit of talking and a few laughs here and there… a reasonable way to spend 2 hours or so.
I suppose you can’t help but think of Favreau and Vaughn‘s 1996 film about relationships – Swingers. The set up for this is kind of like it could be a Swingers 2… 13 years on and those young, free and single guys are married… however their relationships are getting a bit stale, things need to be shaken up, apparently. That’s kind of where it leaves Swingers though. In the end this is really just an ok romantic comedy set on an amazing looking island paradise. It really does look fantastic.
The problem with this film is really that I think a lot of critics wanted it to be, for want of a better title, Swingers 2. I wanted it to be Swingers 2. I’d love to believe that Favreau (and Vaughn) are still as sharp as they were back than. In fact I do kind believe that they are. The problem is that they could never really make Swingers 2 now. Not unless they just spend their own money and make it as a pet project. They really are too famous now. Swingers 2 would never be a big blockbuster film, and any film that these guys would star in today has to be a blockbuster… otherwise it would be considered a failure. There were a few scenes in this film that I thought were really good and that were insightful, but it just didn’t seem to be what they were going for overall. That was a bit frustrating though, that there was a glimmer here or there of a better film… alas it was not to be.
I don’t know if Couples Retreat is going to be a blockbuster but I certainly think it’s going to take in a decent amount of cash. It’s not half as bad as some are making it out to be. I mean, if you take it as just a normal romantic comedy then it does try to get a bit heavy for a while. And I do think there are too many couples in it, they could have dropped one and had more time to tell more of the stories for the remaining three, but there are some good, funny scenes in it that I think a lot of people would laugh at.
It’s not a classic and no-one will be talking about it in 13 years time, but if you have nothing better to see over the weekend and you just want a bit of a date movie then you could do worse.