THIS WEEK IN MIDDLE-CLASS wish-fulfillment fantasies, it's Couples Retreat, featuring Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Sex and the City's Kristin Davis, Veronica Mars, and a credibility-smashing turn from Arrested Development's Jason Bateman!
Couples Retreat opens with a montage that could be entitled "Straight Couples Through the Ages," set with a dismaying lack of both creativity and irony to "Modern Love" (Bowie, you whore). The ensuing two-hour homage to heterosexual values (as defined in 1953) is somehow both more boring and more offensive than either the film's opening credits or the (already fairly offensive) trailer could have predicted.
Premise: A bunch of married couples allow their most annoying friend to trick them into vacationing at a couples' resort on an island called Eden. (You know, like from the Bible? Where God invented straight people?) Eden is a truly magical place, where the foreigners and the gays know their places (as the help and the punchline, respectively) and your black friend can roll with a racist joke like the best of 'em.
Shortly after arriving at Eden, the couples are aghast to discover that the resort isn't all yoga, jetskis, and institutionalized homophobia, but will actually require them to participate in therapy sessions! And it turns out some of their marriages aren't as strong as they'd thought....
But wait! There's another resort island nearby, one populated by hot, slutty singles (SERIOUSLY). Circumstances too stupid to describe force the couples to make a pilgrimage to the singles' resort, and oh look, here's the irony the filmmakers misplaced during the credits sequence: It's at the singles resort that these married couples realized how much they love one another! There's also an extended Guitar Hero sequence, just in case you haven't spent enough of your life as a captive audience to that game. I never thought I'd say this, but Veronica Mars, you're dead to me.