Trouble in Paradise
(15A, general release)
There seems to be a growing number of films, within the past couple of years, that are taking on the old ‘trouble in paradise adage as their central theme. Think ‘Heartbreak Kid’ last year with Malin Ackerman (who also stars in this movie) & Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which features Kirsten Bell (Veronica Mars; Heroes & wouldn’t you know it, Couples Retreat?!) as the female lead. Add the lovable, rapid-fire talking Vince Vaughn and best pal & co-writer Jon Favreau to the mix and you’ve got the makings of a potentially enjoyable if not stereotypical rom-com getaway.
Jason Bateman (of Arrested Development fame and more recently Juno & Hancock) and Bell play Jason and Cynthia, an obsessively organised couple who despite their best efforts, have failed to conceive. This has placed a huge strain on their relationship and so they come up with the ‘great’ idea of taking a vacation on this tropical resort run by the philosophical; yoga endorsing Marcel (Jean Reno) that specialises in relationship courses. They persuade their reluctant friends: Dave & Ronnie (Vaughn and Ackerman); Joey & Lucy (Favreau and Kirsten Davis) along with Shane & Trudy (Faizon Love and Kali Hawk) to go with them.
What they don’t realise until too late, is that the therapy sessions aren’t optional and that they must 1st go through an intense & excruciating dose of marital & personal examination before they can enjoy the other perks of island life. And surprise; surprise, they reveal that Jason and Cynthia aren’t the only couple with cracks in their relationships. Equally ‘astonishing’ is how they all manage to work out their differences in one hastily arranged, nocturnal, mass reconciliation that didn’t sit too well with me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my happy endings just as much as the next guy or gal. But real relationships, unlike the movie versions don’t always end happily ever after with a tropical tasting; sun-drenched cherry on top. They can be awkward; painful and heartbreakingly un-contrived. I just wish I could say the same for this script, which was sadly lacking in reality and originality but had just enough laughs to get me through this celluloid holiday.
Written by Ken Hume