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Couples Retreat
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Couples Retreat (2009) More at IMDbPro »

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Couples Retreat -- A comedy centered around four couples who settle into a tropical-island resort for a vacation. While one of the couples is there to work on the marriage, the others fail to realize that participation in the resort's therapy sessions is not optional.
Couples Retreat -- A clip from the movie Couples Retreat.
Couples Retreat -- Interview: Vince Vaughan "On the shark scene and his fear of water"
Couples Retreat -- A clip from the movie Couples Retreat.
Couples Retreat -- Interview: Kristen Bell "On the yoga scene"


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Writers (WGA):
Jon Favreau (written by) and
Vince Vaughn (written by) ...
View company contact information for Couples Retreat on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 October 2009 (USA) See more »
It may be paradise... but it's no vacation. See more »
A comedy centered around four couples who settle into a tropical-island resort for a vacation. While one of the couples is there to work on the marriage, the others fail to realize that participation in the resort's therapy sessions is not optional. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Hilarious at times, but never really strives to be more than average See more (146 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Vince Vaughn ... Dave

Jason Bateman ... Jason Smith

Faizon Love ... Shane

Jon Favreau ... Joey

Malin Akerman ... Ronnie

Kristen Bell ... Cynthia

Kristin Davis ... Lucy

Kali Hawk ... Trudy

Tasha Smith ... Jennifer

Carlos Ponce ... Salvadore

Peter Serafinowicz ... Sctanley

Jean Reno ... Marcel

Temuera Morrison ... Briggs

Jonna Walsh ... Lacey

Gattlin Griffith ... Robert

Colin Baiocchi ... Kevin

Vernon Vaughn ... Grandpa Jim Jim
Jersey Jim ... Magician
Paul Boese ... Motorcycle Salesman
Daniel Cage Theodore ... Tile Store Salesman (as Daniel Theodore)

Phillip Jordan ... Tile Store Salesman

John Michael Higgins ... Therapist

Ken Jeong ... Therapist
Charlotte Cornwell ... Therapist

Amy Hill ... Therapist

Karen David ... Spa Attendant

Alyssa Julya Smith ... San Diego Dance Academy (as Alyssa Smith)

Alexis Knapp ... San Diego Dance Academy

Joy Bisco ... Maitre d'

Janna Fassaert ... Masseuse
Xavier Tournaud ... Masseur

Dana Fox ... Waitress

Justin Deeley ... Trainer

Scott Burn ... Trainer
Micah Mason ... Waiter

Christophe Santoro ... Bellman
Yann Marequa ... Bellman
Sacha Perreault ... Bellman
Zofia Moreno ... Greeter

Steve Byrne ... Drunk Guy

Brendan Wayne ... Drunk Guy
David Merheb ... Guitar Hero Bellman
Billy Loa ... Cook
Chu Vang ... Cook

Jeremy Olson ... Eden East Buff Guy
Bronx Style Bob ... Eden East DJ
J-ray ... Eden East Girl (as J-Ray Hochfield)
Hanna Brophy ... Eden East Girl
Lyndsay Magellan ... Eden East Girl

Marketa Janska ... Eden East Girl

Chantelle Barry ... Eden East Shot Girl

James Ferris ... White Swallow

Jordann Kimley ... White Swallow

Jon Fleming ... White Swallow DJ
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Trey Loney ... Ice Rink Kid
Ama'ri ... Party Kid (uncredited)
Jonathan C. Barnes ... Eden East Dancer (uncredited)

Desiree Brajevich ... Singles Island Partier (uncredited)
Michael Patrick Breen ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
Kalen Brest ... Bikini Girl (uncredited)

Debbi Burns ... O'Hare Airport Traveler (uncredited)

Josh Cowdery ... Motorcycle Shopper (uncredited)

Bobby Cullen ... Spring Breaker (uncredited)

Patrice Danyelle Driver ... Ohare Airport Traveler (uncredited)

Robert Esser ... Eden East Guy (uncredited)
Nick Ferrin ... Tourist (uncredited)

Darren Elliot Fulsher ... Patron (uncredited)

Julian Graham ... Eden East Guy (uncredited)

Nick Grosvenor ... Young Guy (uncredited)
Kristine Kay Kelly ... Eden West Hostess (uncredited)
Donnacha Kenny ... Airport Traveler (uncredited)

Phoebe Kuhlman ... Bikini Girl (uncredited)
Dan Latham ... O'Hare Airport Traveler #1 (uncredited)
Latasha Lewis ... Gym Patron (uncredited)

Natalina Maggio ... Bikini Girl (uncredited)
Ashlyn Miyasaki ... Eden East Bikini Girl (uncredited)
Steven Hugh Nelson ... Hotel Guest (uncredited)

James Pusztay ... Airport Driver (uncredited)

Jason Riley ... Eden East Guy (uncredited)

Katie Stegeman ... Dancing Girl (uncredited)

Robert Paul Taylor ... White Swallow Surfer (uncredited)
Chris D. Thomas ... O'Hare Airport Traveler (uncredited)

Giota Trakas ... Traveler (uncredited)
Mike Ullrich ... Skycap (uncredited)

Millie Wynn ... Smoking Hot Bikini Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Billingsley 
Writing credits
Jon Favreau (written by) and
Vince Vaughn (written by) &
Dana Fox (written by)

Produced by
Dana Fox .... associate producer
John Isbell .... co-producer
Micah Mason .... associate producer
Udi Nedivi .... associate producer
Guy Riedel .... executive producer
Sandra J. Smith .... associate producer
Scott Stuber .... producer
Victoria Vaughn .... executive producer
Vince Vaughn .... producer
Original Music by
A.R. Rahman 
Cinematography by
Eric Alan Edwards (director of photography) (as Eric Edwards)
Film Editing by
Dan Lebental 
Casting by
Sarah Finn 
Randi Hiller 
Production Design by
Shepherd Frankel 
Art Direction by
Curt Beech 
Andrew Murdock 
Clint Wallace 
Set Decoration by
Daniel B. Clancy 
Costume Design by
Susan Matheson 
Makeup Department
Simone Almekias-Siegl .... key makeup artist
Steve Artmont .... makeup department head
Sarah Ault .... hair stylist: French Polynesia
David Danon .... key hair stylist
Gabriel De Cunto .... makeup artist: French Polynesia (as Gabriel Decunto)
Ashley Fox .... additional makeup artist
Cheryl Ann Nick .... hair stylist: Mr. Vaughn
Cheryl Ann Nick .... makeup artist: Mr. Vaughn
Heather Plott .... additional makeup artist
Janine Rath .... department head hair (as Janine Rath-Thompson)
Maryse Utia .... hair stylist: French Polynesia
Jose Zamora .... key hair: additional photography
Natasha Ladek .... wig maker: Peter Serafinowicz (uncredited)
Maynard Matthews .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Tony Mirante .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Suzi Ostos .... key makeup: Chicago (uncredited)
Production Management
Udi Nedivi .... unit production manager
Matthew Spiegel .... production supervisor: Bora Bora
Barrett J. Leigh .... production supervisor: re-shoots (uncredited)
Sean T. Stratton .... post-production supervisor (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Clark Credle .... second second assistant director
Christina Fong .... second assistant director
Rip Murray .... first assistant director
Kendall L. Nichols .... dga trainee
Art Department
Armando Abarca .... drapery foreman
Sandy Adams .... set dresser
Mychael Bates .... property master
Zoe Byrne .... art department production assistant
Laurence Castello .... paint supervisor
Matt Center .... set dresser
Sarah Contant .... set designer
Kevin Cross .... set designer
Juliane Crump .... graphic designer
Jacq Donegan .... construction purchaser
Timothy Farmer .... set dresser
Kelsey Fowler .... assistant property master: Bora Bora
Kiel Gookin .... art department production assistant
Al Hobbs .... set designer
Michael E. Johnson .... props: reshoots
Charles Kern .... camera scenic artist
Chris Larsen .... set dresser
Douglas T. Madison .... assistant property master (as Doug Madison Jr.)
John Hammer Maxwell .... on-set dresser
Mike Medina .... construction coordinator
Christopher Morente .... stand-by greensman
Richard 'Rocky' Nichols .... assistant property master
Leah Palen .... set decorating coordinator
Roger Prater .... stand-by greens foreman
Shane Reed .... leadman
Eric Rosenberg .... graphic designer
Jessica Samuelson .... props
Easton Smith .... set designer (as Easton Michael Smith)
Julie Smith .... assistant set decorator
Shanna Starzyk .... assistant art director
Gary Damian Thomas .... storyboard artist (as Gary Thomas)
Paul 'Eel' Anderson .... set dresser (uncredited)
Todd Bennett .... plaster foreman (uncredited)
Sarena Bhargava .... head sculptor (uncredited)
Shane Buckallew .... plaster gang boss (uncredited)
Gregory Byrne .... set dresser (uncredited)
Larry Guy Clause .... general foreman (uncredited)
Michael A. Contreraz .... laborer (uncredited)
Steven Hanks .... greens gang boss (uncredited)
Kurt Keitzman .... set dresser (uncredited)
Calla Klessig .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Bao-Uy Luu .... graphic artist (uncredited)
Matthew Murphy .... props (uncredited)
Hans Soto .... greensmen (uncredited)
Michael P. Sweeney .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Sandy Berman .... foley supervisor
Steve Cantamessa .... sound mixer
Eric Flickinger .... digital sound mix technician
David Jobe .... foley mixer
Jason Johnston .... boom operator: Chicago
Scott La Rue .... boom operator
Brian Magerkurth .... sound mix technician
Rhys Maitland-Jones .... sound mix technician
Steve Mann .... sound effects editor
Steve Pederson .... re-recording mixer
Terry Rodman .... supervising sound editor
Brad Sherman .... re-recording mixer
Karen Spangenberg .... dialogue editor
David Wolowic .... first assistant sound editor (as Dave Wolowic)
Aaron Zeller .... ProTools operator
Aaron Zeller .... sound utility
Jon Krupp .... sound: trailer (uncredited)
Mark Sheffield .... sound mix technician (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Andrew Anahoa .... special effects: French Polynesia
Roy Augenstein .... special effects technician
John P. Cazin .... special effects crew
Eric Cook .... special effects technician (as Eric P. Cook)
Sam Dean .... special effects crew
Al Marangoni .... special effects technician (as Albert Marangoni)
Joel Mitchell .... special effects technician
Rodrigo Navarro .... special effects technician: French Polynesia
Robert L. Olmstead .... special effects technician (as Robert Olmstead)
Gintar Repecka .... special effects foreman
Kirk Shalosky .... special effects accountant
Robert Spurlock .... special effects
Daniel Sudick .... special effects coordinator (as Dan Sudick)
Rapaaru Teena .... special effects technician: French Polynesia
Visual Effects by
Miguel Bautista .... compositor
Chris Chappell .... compositor
Sarang Choi .... compositor (as Sa Rang Choi)
Daniel Chuba .... visual effects executive producer (as Dan Chuba)
Patrick Clancey .... digital opticals
Aliza Corson Chameides .... compositing supervisor
Jamie Dixon .... visual effects supervisor
Jon Doyle .... compositor
Derick Dressel .... animator
Lynn M. Gephart .... visual effects producer (as Lynn Gephart)
Les Hunter .... visual effects producer: Hammerhead Productions
Justin Jones .... compositor
Kelly Rae Kenan Green .... visual effects coordinator (as Kelly Rae Kenan)
Michael Kennedy .... compositor
Shira Mandel Kluger .... digital compositor (as Shira Mandel)
Mathew Lamb .... animator
Min Hee Lee .... compositor
Seung Yong Lee .... compositor (as Seungyong Lee)
Dan Levitan .... compositing supervisor
Sean Mattini .... digital colorist assist
Daniel Mellitz .... compositor
Joel Merritt .... compositor
Aung Min .... animator
Mitch Paulson .... second digital colorist: EFILM
Todd Sheridan Perry .... animator
Si Eun Yang .... compositor
Andrew Byrne .... fluid technical director (uncredited)
Mark Fletcher .... screen graphics designer (uncredited)
Junshik-Raul Yun .... vfx coordinator: Wonderworld Korea (uncredited)
Christian Eric Billings .... stunt driver
Joe Bucaro III .... stunt coordinator (as Joseph Bucaro)
Marc C. Geschwind .... utility stunts
Jessica Harbeck .... stunt double: Malin Akerman
Daniel F. Malone .... stunt coordinator (as Dan Malone)
Brad Martin .... stunts (re-shoots)
Matthew H. O'Connor .... stunt water safety
Clay Cullen .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Todd Avery .... second assistant camera
Scott Barnes .... lighting programmer
Yann Barral Baron .... video assistant: Bora Bora
Dwayne Barr .... dolly grip: "b" camera
Michael Bauman .... gaffer
Hans Bjerno .... aerial director of photography
Kelly R. Borisy .... dolly grip: Chicago
Mark Castelaz .... gaffer: Chicago
Alfred Castillo .... best boy grip
Scott Crabbe .... key digital video assist operator
Thomas M. Dangcil .... lighting technician
Donald D. Davidson .... lighting technician
Al DeMayo .... set lighting fixtures technician
Louie Escobar .... grip: studio segments
Peter Graf .... aerial camera system tech super g
Marty Hechinger .... electrician
Amos James .... grip
John Johnson .... still photographer
Thom Lairson .... second assistant camera: "a" camera (as Thomas D. Lairson Jr.)
Eric Laudadio .... additional first assistant camera (as Eric R. Laudadio)
Thomas E. Lee .... rigging grip
Bob Leitelt .... rigging grip foreman
Michael Lindquist .... additional second assistant camera
Andrew Lostumo .... grip: Chicago
Patrick Loungway .... director of photography: second unit
Michael Lyon .... lighting technician
Darin Moran .... camera operator: "b" camera
Chris Moseley .... additional camera operator: "b" camera
Haydn Pazanti .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Les Percy .... rigging key grip
Chris Rauch .... rigging grip
Brad Rea .... dolly grip: "a" camera
Donald Reynolds Jr. .... key grip
Teiva Ribet .... camera production assistant: Bora Bora (as Teiva J. Ribet)
Spencer M. Rohan .... rigging grip: Chicago
Peter Rosenfeld .... Steadicam operator
Peter Rosenfeld .... camera operator: "a" camera
John Savedra .... lighting technician
Michael J. Schwartz .... lighting technician
Dennis Seawright .... first assistant camera
Robert Settlemire .... first assistant camera: underwater scenes
Charles Smith .... rigging grip
Jason Storandt .... key grip: Chicago
Joshua D. Thatcher .... additional lighting console programmer
Seth Thomas .... grip: Chicago
Michael Tolochko .... lighting technician
Chuck Whelan .... additional first assistant camera: "b" camera
Michael Witczak .... lighting technician
Harry Zimmerman .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Mike Bonnaud .... assistant chief lighting technician (uncredited)
Jeremy Brussell .... grip (uncredited)
Kat Bueno .... grip (uncredited)
Mark Carlile .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Jose F. Cruz .... grip (uncredited)
John Davies .... rigging electric gang boss (uncredited)
Jaime Dawkins .... technocrane operator: Chicago (uncredited)
Eldon Hansen .... rigger (uncredited)
Jordan C. Kadovitz .... additional video assist (uncredited)
Ken Longballa .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Jack Serino .... grip (uncredited)
Frank R. Sims .... rigging grip (uncredited)
Mark N. Woods .... technocrane operator: Chicago (uncredited)
Casting Department
Claire Benjamin .... extras casting
Lauren Cokeley .... extras casting assistant
Elizabeth Dean .... casting manager (as Elizabeth Dionne)
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
Tony Hobbs .... extras casting
Tamara Hunter .... casting associate
Joan Philo .... extras casting: Chicago
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Wendy M. Craig .... costume supervisor
Lorraine Crossman .... key costumer
Nina Fabio .... seamstress
Klara Farberov .... seamstress
Jody Felz .... additional costumer
Risa Garcia .... additional costumer
Robyn Gebhart .... cutter/fitter
Sahar Halabi .... costume assistant
Alix Hester .... costumer: Mr. Vaughn
Alyssa Kim .... costumer
Ann Miller .... set costumer
Jacquelyn Moran .... costume assistant
Rachael Ohman .... set costumer
Elaine Perlmann .... assistant costume designer (as Elaine Davis)
Felipe Sanchez .... costume illustrator
Melissa Stinson .... additional costumer
Susan Strubel .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Matt Evans .... additional editor
Stacey Frederick .... assistant editor
Brian Gee .... dailies assist (uncredited)
Sandra Granovsky .... first assistant editor
Mitch Paulson .... second digital colorist
Britni Ziegler Peters .... post-production assistant (as Britni Ziegler)
Loan Phan .... digital intermediate producer
Robert E. Phillips .... digital intermediate assistant producer: EFILM
Michael Polier .... assistant editor
Steven J. Scott .... supervising digital colorist
Greg Curry .... colorist: dailies (uncredited)
Edgar Sardarian .... post-production assistant (uncredited)
Location Management
Kristi Frankenheimer .... location manager
Toby Rydge .... location assistant: French Polynesia
Ivan Siebel .... assistant location manager: Los Angeles
Jessica Strauss .... key assistant location manager: Los Angeles
Roland Arenz .... assistant location manager: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Justin Besemer .... assistant location manager: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Ronald M. Haynes .... assistant location manager: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Michael Zamboni .... key assistant location manager: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Music Department
Kazimir Boyle .... midi preparation
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor (as Sandy De Crescent)
George Doering .... musician
Matt Dunkley .... conductor
Matt Dunkley .... orchestrator
Kevin Globerman .... digital score recordist
Tanya Noel Hill .... music editor
Luana Jackman .... vocal contractor
Braden Kimball .... assistant scoring mixer
Katia Lewin Jablonsky .... score mixing assistant (as Katia Lewin Palomo)
Greg Loskorn .... scoring crew
David Marquette .... scoring crew (as Dave Marquette)
Alan Meyerson .... score mixer
Alan Meyerson .... score recordist
Adam Michalak .... scoring crew
Kathy Nelson .... executive in charge of music
John O'Brien .... composer: additional music
John O'Brien .... music supervisor
David Olson .... music editor
Peter Rotter .... music contractor
Jay Selvester .... scoring crew (as Jay Sylvester)
Steven L. Smith .... music preparation
Jim Weidman .... supervising music editor
Pallikonda Adrushta Deepak .... additional song mixer (uncredited)
Kazimir Boyle .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Eric Bradley .... musican: singer (uncredited)
Tim Davies .... conductor (uncredited)
Tim Davies .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Victor Pesavento .... music preparation (uncredited)
Puneet Samtani .... score recording engineer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
John Armstrong .... picture car consultant
L. Chip Crosby Jr. .... transportation captain
Scott Howard .... set captain
Thaddeus E. Larkowski .... transportation coordinator: Chicago Unit
James Lowder .... transportation coordinator
Antonio Molina .... driver
Charles Montgomery .... driver
Jim Moores .... picture car coordinator
Yvette Peterson .... driver
Theresa M. Roehner .... driver
James Waitkus .... transportation captain
Blair Mealing .... driver: cast (uncredited)
Other crew
Cua-Cua Apey .... water safety
Derek Ashbaugh .... office production assistant: Chicago
Tony Baratti .... production assistant
Bridgett Baron .... payroll accountant: Chicago
Senica Billingsley .... production assistant: Chicago
Raymond Bulinski .... craft service lead
Carol Sue Byron .... construction accountant
Bonni Camen .... production coordinator
Kristen Cascio .... assistant: Mr. Stuber
Misty Connelly .... personal assistant: kristen bell
Divi Crockett .... asset representative
Eve Curtis .... stand-in: Charlotte Cornwell
Michelle A. De Mayo .... first assistant accountant
Josh Deceuster .... second assistant accountant
Corey Gibbons .... production assistant
Karen Gilchrist .... assistant: Mr. Favreau (as Karen Johnson)
Christine Tisseau Giraudel .... production team
Pamela B. Green .... producer: main titles
Jean Hodges .... food stylist
Qadree Holmes .... office production assistant: Chicago
Richard Itskovich .... additional production assistant
Lisa Junco .... stand in: Tasha Smth
Jessie Kahnweiler .... production assistant
Ryan Lacen .... key set production assistant
Michael Lagnese .... assistant: Mr. Vaughn
Sharon Lopez .... assistant production coordinator
Joseph Malloch .... production assistant
Daniel F. Malone .... marine coordinator
Mimi N. McGreal .... travel coordinator
Matt Morrow .... assistant: Ms. Vaughn
Ryan Needham .... office production assistant: Chicago
William Nero Jr. .... stand-in
Nicholas David Nesbitt .... assistant: Mr. Stuber (as Nicholas Nesbitt)
Frédéric North .... aerial coordinator and camera-ship pilot
Frédéric North .... helicopter pilot (as Fred North)
Matthew H. O'Connor .... water safety
Jacqui Papineau .... assistant: Mr. Billingsley
Tim Patterson .... production secretary
Peggy Pere .... aerial ground coordinator (as Peggy North)
Peggy Pere .... aerial ground coordinator
John M. Pisani .... unit publicist
Trudy Ramirez .... script supervisor
Shannon E. Riggs .... assistant: Mr. Riedel (as Shannon Riggs)
Bruce A. Ross .... assistant marine coordinator
Paul Ruffolo .... on-set assistant: Mr. Vaughn
Erin Sahlstrom .... additional production coordinator: Los Angeles Prep
Edgar Sardarian .... post production assistant
Whitfield Scheidegger .... production assistant
Claire Schwob .... production team
Adam Slutsky .... set production assistant: Chicago
Anitra Stevens .... set production assistant
Sheilah Sullivan .... production accountant
Jarik Van Sluijs .... titles
Caroline Andrade .... second assistant accountant (uncredited)
Pamela B. Green .... co-creative director titles (uncredited)
Michael Kuster .... stand-in (uncredited)
Jarik Van Sluijs .... creative director/editor: main titles (uncredited)
Barton Zeller .... body double & stand-in (uncredited)
Hinano Bagnis .... grateful acknowledgment
Jonathan Reap .... grateful acknowledgment (as Tahiti Tourism -- Jonathan Reap)
Gaston Tong Sang .... grateful acknowledgment (as President Gaston Tong Sang)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content and language (re-rating on appeal)
113 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Finland:K-11 | Germany:6 | Ireland:15A | Malaysia:18PL | Netherlands:12 | Philippines:PG-13 (MTRCB) | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:NC-16 | Singapore:PG13 (edited TV version) | South Korea:15 | Sweden:Btl | Switzerland:10 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:10 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | USA:R (original rating) | USA:PG-13 (re-rating on appeal) (certificate #45636)

Did You Know?

Keyshia Cole, Kelly Rowland, Letoya Luckett and Meagan Good were considered for the role of Trudy.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: On the first night when everyone is sitting down at the restaurant for dinner, Cynthia's line is "Did you guys hear what they have at the spa with the snow?" but her mouth is not moving.See more »
Dave:Take the French out of your mouth and tell me what to do.See more »
Movie Connections:
References Jaws (1975)See more »
CALABRIA 2008 (RADIO EDIT)See more »


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54 out of 103 people found the following review useful.
Hilarious at times, but never really strives to be more than average, 7 October 2009
Author: DonFishies from Canada

Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) are dangerously close to getting a divorce. In a last ditch effort to save their marriage, they decide to take a vacation to a tropical resort meant to help ailing couples through therapy. Short on cash, they enlist help from their friends to offset the cost through a group rate: the kid-raising Dave (Vince Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman), the lovelessly married Joey (Jon Favreau) and Lucy (Kristen Davis), and the recently divorced Shane (Faizon Love) and his much younger girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk). The three other couples think they are just going to have fun and help their friends, but they realize they are in for having their relationships examined as well.

Couples Retreat is not a bad film by any means, but it never seems to strive to be a great one either. It seems perfectly content at being average; a harmless diversion not meant to really do much outside of mildly entertain the audience.

Leaving aside some rather obvious and unexplained age issues between the couples, the film does not throw any punches with its storyline. It never wavers from its basic premise, and stays on a fairly straight and predictable path. Subplots involving the resort's employees materialize and disappear just as fast. And while it does not necessarily drag at any real moments, there are more than a few instances where some scenes are emphasized much longer than others that probably could have done with more emphasis. By the time the film's ending hits, it feels abrupt and almost like a missed opportunity for more gags and characterization that could have only benefited everyone involved. The film does do a great job of blasting through basic backstories for everyone involved within the opening ten minutes, but does not do nearly enough of a job convincing us of the evolution they go through while on vacation.

While some will find this film to be hilarious from beginning to end, I cannot help but wonder how much funnier it really could have been. Yes, there are some hilarious moments sprinkled throughout the film, and some moments that are merely humorous, but there are a ton of awkward and juvenile moments that easily could have been done away with. From the start, the film sets itself up as skewing towards an older crowd, but then relies on gross out and absurd moments (specifically involving Favreau, who co-wrote the script and presumably picked his own part) that belong in a direct-to-video sequel to American Pie. These moments really took me out of the film, and just begged the question why they even bothered placing them in here at all. Worse yet, there are more than a handful of moments that simply are not funny at all, no matter how forced the actors make them.

What I really enjoyed however, as I did with the far superior Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was how it dealt with the very real trauma of a disintegrating relationship. Couples Retreat takes the high road by loading the film with comic imagery and dialogue to offset the devastating and bitter arguments. They never shy away from hiding the truth of the pain and hurt feelings these characters go through, but they tend to not over accentuate these moments for the sake of staying within the realm of comedy. I can appreciate that, because at the end of the day, everyone wants to be entertained at the movies, and watching characters yell and put each other down in a comedy is not anyone's definition of a comedy (although a well made drama like Revolutionary Road can pull it off). I only mention this because of The Break-Up, a supposed comedy about a couple's breakup. The film, again starring Vaughn and Favreau, was just horrifically disappointing and near pathetic in its attempts at entertaining an audience. A mess of ideas and ill-placed and near non-existent humour made that film almost unwatchable. But in Couples Retreat, the drama and the comedy are balanced so easily that it makes one question how a movie like The Break-Up could have failed on so many counts.

The acting is not extraordinary, but it is fairly well done. The men seem to do a lot better than the women in all cases (likely because of how much more seems to be written for them), but then three of the four main male actors have spent much of the past decade working in comedy. The comical repairing of Vaughn and Favreau does wonders for the film, making it all the more watchable. Favreau puts in some really great work as a man just counting down the days until he and his wife file for divorce. While he is saddled with the worst scenes in the film, he delivers the strongest and most consistent work. Vaughn plays the resentful know-it-all character he has been perfecting for years now, but he is more muted here than he is in the likes of Wedding Crashers. Bateman does good in his role, but he never really stretches his character out at any moment. Love shows hints of really making something of his character, but never manages to move outside of being the obvious comic fodder.

Of the female characters, I really enjoyed Bell's performance the best. Hawk never really gets a chance to do much of anything, Davis seems too old for her character (and a bit too close to her role in Sex and the City), and Akerman just never really impresses. I liked her better in Watchmen, and she was one of the weakest things about that movie.

Far from perfect, Couples Retreat is a decent film that never strives to be more than average. It has quite a few laughs, and some respectably dramatic scenes. If you go in not expecting much, you will not come out disappointed.


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