Couples Retreat

Eden May Not Cure


09 September 2009| No Comments on Couples Retreat     by Sean Chavel


You haven’t paid to see this movie, have you? It’s okay if you catch a few minutes on cable – if you are into dumb curiosity. The earliest scenes of Couples Retreat are the snappiest, veering briefly onto that rare commodity of what you can call fresh comedy: Foremost a PowerPoint presentation that is indelicate yet tactful, a friend’s request for borrowed money to buy a cool motorcycle just to impress his new girl, a toddler mistaking the usage of a furnishing store display toilet.

From there, four couples fly to a place called Eden, that might be recognized as Bora Bora to some luxury-vacationers, to go through Couples Skill Building classes and marital therapist sessions. The ironic arc of the movie is that these couples unravel while on holiday as husbands and wives exchange verbal rips with each other. When the slinging is over, the couples make-up again. Say hello to Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman, Jon Favreau and Kristin Davis, Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell, Faizon Love and Kali Hawk.

The best casting decision in the supporting roles was selecting John Michael Higgins and Ken Jeong as therapists. The worst casting decision was selecting Jean Reno (“The Professional”) as the inane couples’ guru and instructor. Nothing however is more overworked than the shark attack scene or the scene with a hunky but lascivious yoga instructor who as we learn wouldn’t mind stealing a wife, or perhaps, all of them.

This is a reunion of sorts it certainly is for Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, who are alumni of the ’90’s Los Angeles dating scene semi-classic Swingers, who actually co-wrote this movie together but allowed Peter Billingsley to direct (his second feature). If you hate romantic comedy, or the 21st century’s idea of a romantic comedy, then you will wish that these two will just do some beer-swilling already.

“Couples Retreat” is occasionally watchable sitcom-y junk that asks itself to get by with its snarky one-liners and ribald body language, but it never comes close to a summit of respectability.

107 Minutes. Rated PG-13.


Film Cousins: “Wet Hot American Summer” (2001); “The Break-Up” (2006); “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008); “Four Christmases” (2008).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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