Couples Retreat, Vince Vaughn, Kristin Davis, Malin Akerman, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love

Universal Pictures

Review in a Hurry: Four unlikable couples gather at an all-inclusive marriage-counseling resort in this predictable rom-com, which takes all its comedy cues from the school of what-can-possibly-go-wrong?! How about everything—starting with too much of Jon Favreau with his shirt off.

The Bigger Picture: Watching Couples Retreat cowriters Favreau and Vince Vaughn play schlubby husbands is like showing up to your high school reunion to find that the once-sharply dressed cool guys with the fake IDs are now fat and bald. And married. A Swingers sequel, this is not.

Instead, Retreat centers around three not-very-believable suburban couples (Vaughn and Malin Akerman, Favreau and Kristin Davis, and Faizon Love and Kali Hawk) who are thrown for a loop when a fourth couple (Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell) announce they're thinking about a divorce and want to attend a couple's retreat in Bora Bora.

The catch: They can only afford to go if they get the group-rate discount. Miraculously, all eight push aside their lives and schedules and arrive at the palatial Eden resort. Eden's white sandy beaches and turquoise blue water look like paradise, but the team quickly discover that the "couples therapy" part of their vacation package is mandatory, leaving no time for the whimsical vacay lifestyle of Jet Skis and mai tais.

From the get-go, Vaughn and company, led by clownish spiritual couples guru Monsieur Marcel (Jean Reno), are thrown into one ridiculous therapeutic session after another, all of which are supposed to elicit big laughs. None do. (In one mess of a session, the pack strips to their underwear in front of one another. Commence shirtless Favreau-a-thon!)

With plot holes the size of Favreau's man boobs, the terrific cast is wasted by the sheer emptiness and lack of motivation in their one-dimensional characters. The movie ends right where it began—spoiler alert!—with no real issues resolved, and enough saccharine hugs to put a Full House episode to shame.

The 180—a Second Opinion: There are a few decent lines, and they might make you laugh. So that's something. But just because the writers were clever enough to pen a movie where they get to spend a few months in paradise doesn't mean you should have to sit through their annoying vacation pics.


There's so much else to see—have a look in our Totally New Releases gallery!

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share