Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
Marriage in the Bible
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE—Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer
What does it mean to be “the husband of one wife”? Answer
|Featuring:||Vince Vaughn, Kristen Bell, Jason Bateman, Malin Akerman, Jean Reno, Jon Favreau, Ken Jeong, Kristin Davis, Jean Reno, John Michael Higgins, Faizon Love, Tasha Smith, Temuera Morrison, Peter Serafinowicz, Karen David, Carlos Ponce, Kali Hawk, Linda Bella, Alyssa Julya Smith, Jonna Walsh, Scott Burn, Xavier Tournaud, Janna Fassaert, James Ferris, Nelson Carvajal, Phillip Jordan, Nick Grosvenor, Jordann Kimley, Ama'ri, John Bailey, Jonathan C. Barnes, Chantelle Barry, Michael Patrick Breen, Debbi Burns, Joe DeVito, Marisa DeVonish, Robert Don, Nick Ferrin, Jon Fleming, Darren Elliot Fulsher, Gattlin Griffith, Meghan Holly, Marketa Janska, Emiko King, Dan Latham, Stefán Mávi, Meghan McCabe, Alan Mueting, Katherine Lee Murphy, Hyacinth Nier, Shawn Nier, Jeremy Olson, James Pusztay, Aneliese Roettger, Heidi Shepherd, Joel Shock, Robert Paul Taylor, Daniel Cage Theodore, Chris D. Thomas, Giota Trakas, Christopher Villar|
|Producer:||Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Wild West Picture Show Productions, Stuber Productions, John Isbell, Micah Mason, Udi Nedivi, Guy Riedel, Sandra J. Smith, Scott Stuber, Victoria Vaughn, Vince Vaughn|
“It may be paradise… but it’s no vacation.”
Jason and Cynthia are married and love each other, but have had trouble over the past year conceiving, and it is taking a toll on their marriage. They are considering a divorce. Before they call it quits, they decide to try and rekindle their relationship by taking a vacation, and they’ve invited all their friends to come along: Dave and Ronnie who are happily married with two kids, Joe and Lucy have been married since Lucy got pregnant with Joe’s kid on prom night, and recently divorced Shane. Little do they know that this resort, named Eden, is less of a vacation spot and more of a marriage counseling conference on an island. This is the story behind “Couples Retreat,” a film with some good messages that just doesn’t live up to its billing as a comedy. Filmed in beautiful Bora Bora, it’s a movie that has the look, but falls short of delivering the goods.
Things get off to a humorous start as we see the couples and how they relate to each other and their friends. Filled with an excellent cast (Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, and Jason Bateman along with many others), one would expect the laughs to continue. Unfortunately, when the couples get to Eden, it seems as though the movie loses its pace and most of its humor. This is partially because of how serious the movie takes the couples’ relationships and the problems they have. While it’s great to see such a respect for marriage in a Hollywood film, it also makes the funny moments seem strained, and the film seems to stall. It just doesn’t seem as though the filmmakers are capable of juggling a serious topic with moments of humor while keeping the story moving.
Aside from a few instances of bathroom humor and some minor language issues, the majority of the film’s objectionable content is of a sexual nature. There’s a great deal of it in “Couples Retreat”: From scantily clad bodies and partial nudity to constant sexual dialogue. The film isn’t shy when it comes to the topic of sex, and while some of this content is not only appropriate, but necessary, to portray a realistic marital relationship, the rest of it isn’t at all and will make many uncomfortable.
While the content will keep most away, the positive opinion of marriage held by the film is one that deserves praise.
“Couples Retreat” showcases married couples of all kinds who have different things they need to work out. When couples stray from each other or want to call it quits, they ultimately realize their mistakes and reconcile. The couple that starts out divorced even ends up getting back together. Couple therapy sessions contain serious portions that incite healthy dialogue between each husband and wife. So often movies portray marriage as something completely easy or something completely impossible, but “Couples Retreat” portrays with great detail the difficulty and joy of marriage. From a Christian viewer’s standpoint, it’s hard to ask for more than that in a film like this.
Unfortunately, between content issues and the fact that the movie just isn’t that funny, “Couples Retreat” falls woefully short of what it could’ve been. With an excellent cast, fantastic location, and such positive things to say about marriage it’s clearly an opportunity wasted. “Couples Retreat” takes one step forward, then immediately takes two back.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.