October 16, 2009

Couples Retreat

I enjoyed it. Not a laugh a minute or anything, but very entertaining. Four couples are guests at a resort called Eden, where their specialization is in couples therapy. In an effort to get the group rate, Jason and Cynthia (Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell) coerce their friends into joining them for the weeklong pleasure vacation/therapy session. The other couples are content to enjoy themselves while their friends work out their marriage problems, but it becomes clear that no one's "house" is in order. Couples Retreat is funny and enjoyable but never really peaks comically. Perhaps this is not something it even attempts, and that didn't bother me much. I was intrigued enough to want to know what would develop between the various characters. Where the movie did not succeed was in developing real, adult problems that it was apparently unwilling to really solve (this is supposed to be a comedy, after all), so the resolutions were happy but not necessarily believable in that they happened too fast and somewhat unrealistically. The exceptions were Vince Vaughan and Malin Akerman's characters, who realized (I am paraphrasing): "we don't have a problem. We have LOTS of problems. And maybe that's okay." Couples Retreat may pretend to offer profundity without doing so, and this makes it somewhat more subtle (in spite of the often crude humor that may or may not affect one's enjoyment of the movie). ½

October 03, 2009


Fantastic! Not my favorite "looking" zombies, but this is certainly one of the most fun zombie flicks in recent years, sort of America's answer to Shaun of the Dead. Woody Harrelson is a bad-ass. Jesse Eisenberg balances out Woody's redneck Dirty Harry persona with his neurotic, witty and insightful take on his new "world," which is--you guessed it--overrun by flesh-eating zombies. And who would have thought a zombie movie would quote All About Eve's famous line ("Fasten your seatbelts...")?