The Critics: ‘Couples Retreat’
Travel Blog • Eva Holland • 10.12.09 | 12:24 PM ET
A few months back I said that “Couples Retreat”—you know, the one where four couples unwittingly book into an all-inclusive marriage counseling resort?—had “some comic potential.” Well, the flick opened this weekend, and I have to report that while said potential was there, it never blossoms into vacation comedy gold. There are a few decent jokes scattered throughout—everyone likes a good jab at Sandals, right?—and the scenery is lovely (the movie was shot in Bora Bora) but the story drags aimlessly between the occasional laughs.
“Couples Retreat” was the box office winner this weekend, but I wasn’t the only unimpressed critic. The Aisle Seat’s Mike McGranaghan writes that the flick is “like watching somebody’s boring vacation videos, except that they’re filled with big stars.” Tom Long of the Detroit News agrees, noting that “Couples Retreat” “looks like it was a lot fun to make. It’s just not all that much fun to watch.”
Finally, in one of the harsher reviews I came across, the Globe and Mail’s Rick Groen flags the movie’s many vacation-gag cliches:
No need to bore you with the swimming-with-sharks howler, or the dry-humping-with-the-yoga-instructor delight… Nor must we dwell on the his-and-hers massage sequence, where the search for comedy sees a sexually frustrated guy seeking relief in shiatsu. Something comes up under that sheet, but it ain’t comedy.