What Happens in Vegas...

"Bad"

What Happens in Vegas... Review


The battle for the human heart has official morphed from witty, sophisticated banter between star-crossed lovers to something akin to mixed martial arts. Or, in the case of the new Ashton Kutcher/Cameron Diaz romcom What Happens in Vegas..., dull marital artifice. In this cloying, created-by-committee exercise in screaming and facial mugging, personal humanity is reduced down to five or six of the seven deadly sins -- particularly: greed, sloth, and... no wait, that's about it. As a result, we witness gender dynamics as primitive pandering.

After getting dumped by her stiff-collared fiancé, efficient New York securities trader Joy McNally (Diaz) gets talked into a trip to Sin City by her best friend, slutty bartender Tipper (Lake Bell). A mix up at the front desk finds recently fired NYC furniture builder Jack Fuller (Kutcher) and his shyster slacker pal Hater (Rob Corddry) sharing the same room. A night of drunken debauchery finds Joy and Jack married. As they discuss divorce, the random pull of a slot machine sees the pair win $3 million. Taking the matter to court, a defiant judge (Dennis Miller) orders the pair to actually live as husband and wife for six months. If they survive, they'll split the money. But if one fails, it's an unexpected windfall for the other.

Wrapping 197 plots into a single, sloppy narrative, What Happens in Vegas... is almost painful to watch. It's a decent romance rigged to a hideously unfunny comedy. Bouncing wildly between farce and calculated coupling insights, our characters exist in a world where men are pigs, women are manipulative shrews, and somewhere in between exist a sprinkling of skanks, dipsticks, and sexually inappropriate bosses. The script, by Wedding Date scribe Dana Fox, contains so many flaws that you wonder what's holding it all together. It clearly isn't the pedestrian, music-montage-heavy direction from Tom Vaughn.

No, the only reason this entire project doesn't supernova and start sucking the life out of the universe like a cinematic black hole is the leads. Cameron Diaz needs to do something to break out of these mixed-up, part-ditz/part-determined cutesy career gal roles. She's constantly being cast as a junior college Meg Ryan, but at 36, she can only push the enviable eye candy bit so far. Kutcher, on the other hand is like box office body odor. Look over his resume from the last few years and the aroma of failure is pungent. Yet thanks to his quasi-chemistry with Diaz, and a few moments where the written mechanics give way to improvised genuineness, he scoots along unscathed.

Clearly aimed to counterprogram the male adolescent aura given off by the summer blockbusters, What Happens in Vegas... is a date movie for those who really don't see their relationship going anywhere. It's the equivalent of a tween's school notepad, cover adorned with quixotic designs and heart-dotted lettering and lacking one ounce of intelligence or insight. You can literally see the cast desperate to overcome the whisper-thin material, including completely underserved supporting players like Treat Williams (as Jack's father), Queen Latifah (as the couple's court-ordered marriage counselor), and comedian Zach Galifianakis.

The result is a movie that mocks everything love is founded on before coming full circle to embrace each and every formulaic facet. It also strives to ply personality, not obvious gags, for laughs, and only ends up proving that caricature offers neither. Somewhere buried in this staid, stereotypical excuse for a likeable lover's spat is a decent idea for a movie. Since all involved can't find it, it's up to the audience to. They'll be lost as well.

I went to Vegas and all I got was this lousy three million dollars.



What Happens in Vegas...

Facts and Figures

Run time: 30 mins

In Theaters: Monday 1st October 2007

Box Office Worldwide: $170M

Budget: $35M

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox, 21 Laps Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Tom Vaughn

Starring: as Jack Fuller, as Joy McNally, as Tipper, as Dr. Twitchell, as Jack Fuller Sr., as Chong, as Judge Whopper, as Richard Banger, as Mason, as Dave the bear, as Hater, as Kelly, Billy Eichner as Band Leader

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.