Couples Retreat

Couples, retreat. In the latest from Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau (co-starring and co-writing), we learn that one compelling reason to make a life commitment is so you will always have someone to eat with at Applebee's. The movie's cumulative idea is that, forgetting the delusions of midlife panic, this is all there is, you're already living the best possible life — a message of sedentary wisdom betrayed when the actual film is as undeniably dreary as a plate of gummy Chicken Parmesan Tanglers. Vaughn, Favreau (flagrantly shirtless), Jason Bateman, and Faizon Love are four buddies, just "regular guys" — meaning, as always, puffy, dull-minded lunks, with Vaughn increasingly being Jim Belushi's heir apparent. They take their respective significant others on a group vacation to an island paradise, along with maybe 12 pages of sitcomic script outline, to be riffed out into feature length. Arriving at the Eden Resort, our beer-commercial heroes are menaced by enforced couple's therapy and the resort's staff of Speedo-wearing homo-macho Euro-Hispanic others (Jean Reno, Carlos Ponce), who put them through yoga humpings and reality-TV-style challenges intended to renew the spark missing from their relationships. The presence of Bateman begs comparison to the funnier-while-thematically-similar Extract, though Retreat also recalls Voyage in Italy, if Rossellini replaced intimate human insight with lowest-common-denominator doody-boner-bare-butt-jackoff haw-haws.


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