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"COUPLES RETREAT"
(2009) (Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Mild Heavy Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None Mild Mild Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Minor Heavy Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: Four couples learn about themselves and each other when they vacation together at a tropical paradise where only one set is willing to go through the highly regimented relationship workshops.
PLOT:
Dave (VINCE VAUGHN) and Ronnie (MALIN AKERMAN) are like many a middle-aged married couple in trying to balance work and raise kids. They're mostly complacent with their arrangement, even if she isn't happy that he doesn't seem to care one way or another about her home remodeling choices.

They're better off than their friends, however, such as Shane (FAIZON LOVE) who's divorced from Jennifer (TASHA SMITH) and is now dating 20-year-old Trudy (KALI HAWK). High school sweethearts Joey (JON FAVREAU) and Lucy (KRISTIN DAVIS) can't stand each other, but it's Jason (JASON BATEMAN) and Cynthia (KRISTEN BELL) who've announced they're likely going to get divorced, mostly stemming from their inability to conceive.

Realizing the strain that's put on their relationship, they're willing to give it one last shot, and want to attend a relationship program at Eden, a tropical resort split into two islands where singles mingle on one and couples examine and try to invigorate their relationships on the other.

The only problem is that they can't afford the program, but could in a group rate if they can get their friends to go along. Promised that they won't have to attend the workshops and such, the others agree, and soon they're in the company of host Stanley (PETER SERAFINOWICZ) who calmly informs all of them that by attending, they must go through the program.

Accordingly, they're introduced to "couples whisperer" instructor Marcel (JEAN RENO), various therapists who work with them individually, and uninhibited yoga instructor Salvadore (CARLOS PONCE). As the sessions proceed, the various couples learn a thing or two about themselves and each other.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
They might, especially if they're fans of somewhat raunchy comedies and/or anyone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sexual content and language (on appeal from the original R rating for "some sexual material" -- meaning no edits were made from the original rating).
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • VINCE VAUGHN plays a video game shop owner who works hard and thus doesn't spend as much quality time with his wife or kids as he should. Fairly self-centered, he's not thrilled with the idea of couples therapy or seminars, but reluctantly goes along with that. He uses profanity and drinks.
  • MALIN AKERMAN plays his wife and mother of their kids who isn't happy with the hours he works or the fact that he doesn't seem to care one way or another about her home remodeling choices. She drinks.
  • JASON BATEMAN plays their friend, a control-freak sort of man who uses PowerPoint presentations to organize his thoughts, feelings and plans, and encourages all of them to vacation with him and his wife so that they can attend the couples program on Eden. He drinks.
  • KRISTEN BELL plays his wife who's unhappy that they can't conceive and goes to the island with hopes that they'll be able to save their marriage. She drinks.
  • JON FAVREAU plays another of Dave's friends, a former high school football star and current coach who's unhappy in his marriage and is looking to cheat on his wife. He drinks and uses some profanity.
  • KRISTIN DAVIS plays his wife who can't stand him and takes a liking to Salvadore. She drinks.
  • FAIZON LOVE plays a divorcee who reluctantly goes on vacation with the others, but finds he can't keep up with his much younger and more vivacious girlfriend. He drinks and uses profanity.
  • KALI HAWK plays his 20-year-old girlfriend who just wants to party, drink, and have sex with him. She uses profanity.
  • PETER SERAFINOWICZ plays the slightly creepy host at the island who tries to put everyone at ease.
  • JEAN RENO plays the relationship program instructor who puts the couples through their paces.
  • CARLOS PONCE plays the island's uninhibited yoga instructor who's sexually aggressive, in a non-threatening manner, toward the ladies.
  • TASHA SMITH plays Shane's ex-wife who wants to get back together with him at the end of the film, after admitting to a sexually wild lifestyle.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 10 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. All sorts of sexually related dialogue is present, as are various sexually related visuals (including naughty looking contact in yoga poses) and other material played for comedy (including the shape of an erection under a sheet), the view of scantly clad women and men (including one man barely avoiding full frontal), and some making out and brief, kinky fooling around.

    There's a brief punch, and a few scenes might be a little unsettling for those particularly sensitive to the matters at hand (sharks in the water, an intruder outside a home a night, a person falling overboard during a thunderstorm), but most are played more for comedy than true suspense. Bad attitudes are present, as is behavior that kids might want to imitate, including drinking that occurs in various scenes. Some crude humor is briefly present, while tense family material is present throughout the film, but is never played with enough reality to be taken completely seriously.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are some partial strobe effects during a Guitar Hero challenge and then at the end of the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • During the opening credits, we see images of people with drinks, and a dog with one in front of it.
  • Joey has a beer in a bar where others drink.
  • Lucy and Ronnie have wine, and then pour more when they hear they have to watch another of Jason's presentations. We also see that Shane has a beer.
  • We see promotional photos from Eden featuring people holding drinks.
  • The couples hold drinks in coconut halves when they arrive at Eden.
  • The group has drinks and Dave invites Stanley to join them for shots, but he declines, adding that they should take it easy as they start the program early the next morning. Dave then states he intends to get tipsy and then pass out later.
  • The group has wine with dinner.
  • Trudy announces she can't wait to "get my drink on."
  • The group has drinks.
  • Trudy tells Shane they should do a shot or something fun, with him just wanting to return to their room.
  • All but Shane and Trudy have drinks.
  • When Shane reports that Trudy is missing, Dave says she's probably over at the singles only side of the island having drinks with some guys. He then mentions having cocktails over there.
  • Salvadore gives Ronnie, Lucy and Cynthia some island rum, with Cynthia chugging from the bottle.
  • We see all sorts of drinking over at the singles only side of the island. When Joey gets there, he does two shots, but Ronnie (who's elsewhere) isn't happy and states that a couple more minutes and she'll just "roofie" herself, while Trudy has liquor poured directly into her mouth from two bottles.
  • Dave and Ronnie have beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Dave's young son announces he peed the bed, and we then see Dave carrying the wet sheets to the laundry room.
  • Dave's young son pees in a non-functioning toilet in a home supply store (we see the urine stream).
  • Some chum spills in the water and envelopes Dave there as sharks swim by. Later, he shows a tiny abrasion on his leg and claims that's where a shark bit him.
  • We see Dave's young son seated atop a non-functioning toilet in a home supply store, and he then asks for some toilet paper.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Joey makes fun of a staffer's accented English.
  • Trudy has a bad attitude about Mexicans (specifically the food they make).
  • When their therapist won't state his opinion about his and Cynthia's chances, Jason gets mad and asks what if a gun were held to the guy's head, making a shape and related gesture with his hand. The therapist then calls him on that.
  • Dave gets mad when no one believes he was really bitten by a shark (he has a tiny scrape on his leg) and he returns to his room rather than go to a waterfall with his wife as promised.
  • Joey and Lucy vehemently argue during a therapy session and don't get along for much of the film.
  • The group breaks the rules and sneaks over to the singles only side of Eden.
  • Seeing Lucy dancing with Salvadore, Joey pushes various people aside, shoves Salvadore, and then punches him in the face, knocking him off his feet. Joey and Lucy then vehemently argue, with him stating he's had past affairs and her saying she has as well.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Ronnie wakes up Dave regarding a noise outside the house, he then hears the same, and then retrieves and loads his handgun. He slowly goes downstairs, sees the shadow of someone passing by outside, and then at the sliding glass door. The intruder then comes in and Dave aims his gun, but it's just Jason arriving to ask them one more time to come to Eden with them.
  • Marcel has the group in the water as part of an exercise to have various fish come up to them as they feed them. But for Dave and Jason, sharks appear and circle them, with Jason panicking and accidentally spilling their bucket of chum that then envelopes Dave in the water. He panics and repeatedly starts and then stops swimming toward the boat, all under direction of Marcel to avoid being attacked (this is played more for comedy than suspense). Dave later complains about having been bitten, and shows a slight abrasion on his leg that he claims is proof of that.
  • As the group canoes over to the singles only side of Eden at night, a thunderstorm quickly arrives and Cynthia ends up falling into the water, but then gets back into the canoe. After the storm passes and she gets mad at Jason, however, she jumps back in and swims toward shore.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Ronnie wakes up Dave regarding a noise outside the house, he then hears the same, and then retrieves and loads his handgun. He slowly goes downstairs, sees the shadow of someone passing by outside, and then at the sliding glass door. The intruder then comes in and Dave aims his gun, but it's just Jason arriving to ask them one more time to come to Eden with them.
  • When their therapist won't state his opinion about his and Cynthia's chances, Jason gets mad and asks what if a gun were held to the guy's head, making a shape and related gesture with his hand. The therapist then calls him on that.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Holy sh*t, this is like a screen saver," "I don't give a sh*t," "Touchy-feely sh*t," "Really stir sh*t up," "Bullsh*t," "Is his junk (penis) out?" "Hump island," "Sexting," "Cougar," "Puma," "Black panther," "Screwed up," "Fruit loop," "Broad," "Ball cancer," "That's a maxi pad," "Hell to the no," "Ass-tastic," "You'll sweat your bag off," "Mr. Belvedere," "Screw him" (nonsexual), "Dude," "I need you to take the French out of your mouth," "Bitch" (thing), "I know my truth," "You're such an asshole," "My ass," "Are you out of your mind?" "Old ass," "You're damn right we do," "This is nuts," "Let's go glass-house," "This place rocks," "A complete ass of myself," "Frickin,'" "Big ass bee," and "You are the ass" (donkey).
  • During the opening credits, we see an image of a tattooed person.
  • Dave's young son pees in a non-functioning toilet in a home supply store (we see the urine stream).
  • At a birthday party, two kids are atop a pool table, with one jabbing a cue stick repeatedly down into one of the pockets.
  • Trudy has a stud in one nostril, as well as a tattoo on her arm.
  • Shane has a tattoo.
  • Marcel's assistant has a tattoo.
  • Salvadore has a tattoo.
  • Trudy has liquor poured directly into her mouth from two bottles.
  • A hula type performer quickly spins a baton with two burning ends (as part of a show).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music (played in comedy settings) occurs in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • As Stanley plays Guitar Hero and does some pelvic thrusts with his toy guitar, we hear the lyrics to "Jessie's Girl" that include, "She's loving him with that body and I just know it."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 10 "s" words, 3 slang terms for sex ("screw," "hump" and "sexting"), 2 slang terms using male genitals ("junk"), 21 asses (3 used with "hole," at least 5 meaning donkey but used both ways for comedy), 4 damns, 3 hells, 6 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "God" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • During the opening credits, we see old images of various people, including a shirtless guy in a cruise ship, another of a woman in a bikini top, and some more shirtless men.
  • Trudy announces that she calls all of her boyfriends "daddy."
  • Joey states he doesn't want to view another of Jason's PowerPoint presentations on "ball" (testicular) cancer, and that term is used various times. Jason then comments on having them checking their testicles.
  • Joey objects to his teen daughter going out in very skimpy attire (tiny shorts that he calls a "maxi pad" and a small and midriff & cleavage revealing top). She relents and goes off to change after he and Lucy comment on the kind of guys such an outfit would attract.
  • We see Shane with what appears to be a large strawberry in his mouth while he's tied face-up on a bed, with Trudy atop him (in a cleavage-revealing bra) and she pours hot candle wax onto his bare chest (we don't know if he's fully nude).
  • With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, Jason announces that he and Cynthia are likely going to get a divorce, mostly stemming from the strain of them being unable to conceive (the presentation includes the phrase "attempted procreation").
  • We see promotional photos from Eden featuring women in bikinis and shirtless men.
  • Jason complains to Dave that the only time he has sex is when Cynthia is ovulating and that it's still a cold experience. He then states it's twice a week, with Dave saying that's a lot. When Jason asks about that, Dave lists his excuses, including having their young son in bed with them. Jason replies that shouldn't stop them, but then adds he's not saying to have the boy "tickling your balls."
  • We see some young women in beach attire (bikinis and such) on Eden and they draw Joey's attention and vice-versa, but nothing happens.
  • Jason refers to his and Cynthia's resort room as a little "love hut."
  • Trudy shows cleavage.
  • When asked about the focus of the singles only side of Eden, Stanley states that it's sex. Jason then states there will be plenty of sex on their side as well.
  • Lucy shows cleavage in various outfits in various scenes.
  • Marcel's male assistant is seen shirtless.
  • Marcel orders that the group split into two lines (of men and women), strip down, and then tell their partner how they feel about how they look. Everyone does (women in bras and panties, the men in boxers), except for the obese Shane who complains he's not wearing any drawers beneath his pants. He eventually removes his shirt, followed by Marcel telling Trudy to remove his pants (so that Shane's flesh can pounce on his prey, meaning her), so she does. We see his bare butt, while everyone else sees his front, with Dave being disturbed by that and commenting about Shane's "junk" (penis) being out.
  • Joey admits that he and Lucy conceived their daughter on prom night. Their marital therapist then asks how often they have sex, but we don't hear any answer to that.
  • Shane admits that his ex-wife wanted him to "screw" harder.
  • After Lucy walks by in her bikini and heads into the bathroom to shower (not seen), Joey positions a brochure photo of a young woman in a bikini by the sofa he's on, lifts his shirt over his head, gets some lotion and tissues, and prepares to masturbate. But a male staffer happens to walk in and interrupts him right before he starts, with Joey pretending he had a sunburn and that's what the lotion is for.
  • Dave complains to Jason that the therapists are probably going to start asking about who they slept with in the past and thus "really stir sh*t up."
  • Trudy announces she can't wait to "get my drink on" and then asks Shane if they're going to get their "groove on" that night.
  • Joey and Lucy separately get massages from young and attractive members of the opposite sex. Lucy likes the look of her guy who states he enjoys pleasuring people (meaning through massages), with her saying she feels the same way (meant sexually). But the man then lets out that he's gay and nothing else happens. In the other room, Joey removes his underwear from beneath his sheet (nothing seen) and tells his masseuse that he holds tension in his upper thighs and thus needs her to concentrate her work there. She then proceeds to start massaging him, leaning over him from his head down, thus causing her clothed chest to come into contact with his face (presumably by accident). We then see the shape of his erection growing beneath the sheet, as does she, prompting her to apologize. He states she should be proud as that hasn't happened in a long time, but she's taken aback and asks if he expects her to manually stimulate him. She then tells him (referring to his penis), "That is not going to have a happy ending," prompting him to tell her to give him the oil and go have a smoke (while he masturbates -- not seen).
  • Some female hula dancers are seen in standard attire, including bikini style tops.
  • Jason tells Cynthia he was hoping they'd return to their room, bolt and door and draw the shades (for sex).
  • Trudy tells Shane they should do a shot or something fun, with him just wanting to return to their room. She says she doesn't want to sleep, with him saying it would be for "pa-pa" (or something like that, meaning sex), and that satisfies her.
  • We see Lucy in a bikini top.
  • The very buff Salvadore emerges from a body of water (seen in slow motion) in just small and tight shorts (showing a bulge in front), thus drawing the attention of the ladies. He then says he should change into something more appropriate for the group yoga session, and is then seen in different but similarly shaped shorts. As they start the session, Salvadore is behind Shane in something of a sexual position, and then helps Jason stretch, rhythmically moving, with his butt repeatedly getting closer and closer to Jason's face while squatting above and facing away from him. He then has the women get into the "happy baby" pose (on their backs and holding their feet in the air while their legs are spread wide), and takes over for Dave in helping Ronnie stretch in that position. He then gets between her legs and moves his body on top of hers, with contact occurring between their barely covered crotches, thus drawing her alarm. He then caresses Joey's bare chest from behind, and is then on top of Cynthia in the happy baby pose, again moving. We next see him behind Jason who then takes his place in that same pose, making it look like a 3-way sexual encounter. He then has the group get into the downward dog pose (feet and hands on the ground, butt in the air), and we see Joey behind his wife who's in that pose (thus making it look like rear entry sex). Lucy then says she needs some help stretching in that position, thus having Salvadore behind her with contact as her clothed butt is up in the air.
  • Joey asks Dave if the latter still gets turned on by Ronnie without use of his "highlight reel" (memories and/or fantasies about past sex). He then asks the hypothetical question of whether it makes him gay if he thinks about a guy while having sex with Lucy (causing Jason to sit across the room from them when he enters). He then asks if using one's highlight reel is considered cheating.
  • Dave refers to the single part of Eden as "hump island" and that term is used several times.
  • Cynthia shows cleavage.
  • Cynthia admits to Ronnie that she and Jason haven't had sex since arriving at Eden.
  • Salvadore emerges from the water fully nude, with Ronnie, Lucy and Cynthia seeing everything, but our view of his crotch is barely blocked by a foreground object. He then goes off and returns wearing just a towel, while Cynthia jumps into the water in just her bra and panties, and then emerges from the water in just that, all wet.
  • As Stanley plays Guitar Hero and does some pelvic thrusts with his toy guitar, we hear the lyrics to "Jessie's Girl" that include, "She's loving him with that body and I just know it."
  • We see various scantly clad young women and men dancing on the singles side of the island, including some sexualized dancing and contact, prompting Dave to complain about the "sexting" and "krumping" that they're doing to each other.
  • Jennifer shows up in a cleavage-revealing bikini, stating that young men there have called her a cougar, puma and blank panther (all meant sexually). She then admits that Shane was her first time, but that she then went on to a wild sexual life, including one-night stands and waking up in strangers' beds, etc. The two then end up passionately kissing while clothed.
  • Dave and Ronnie passionately kiss while clothed.
  • Joey and Lucy vehemently argue, with him stating he's had past affairs and her saying she has as well, mentioning more than one guy, with Joey confusing that and asking if she had a 3-way with two guys. They then end up passionately kissing while clothed.
  • Jason and Cynthia passionately kiss, knock things over while doing so and partially disrobing, and he then ends up on top of her in a room.
  • SMOKING
  • Joey tells his masseuse to go have a smoke while he pleasures himself (neither is seen).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Ronnie isn't happy about the time that Dave spends with his work, or that he doesn't seem to care either way about her home renovation choices when she wants his input.
  • We hear that Shane is divorced.
  • With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, Jason announces that he and Cynthia are likely going to get a divorce, mostly stemming from the strain of them being unable to conceive (the presentation includes the phrase "attempted procreation").
  • Dave and Ronnie's oldest son (who's still young) says he and his younger brother don't want them to get divorced (having heard Jason and Cynthia the night before) and thus want them to go to Eden.
  • Joey and Lucy are obviously not happy in their relationship.
  • Joey and Lucy vehemently argue during a therapy session.
  • Cynthia admits to Ronnie that she and Jason haven't had sex since arriving at Eden.
  • Joey and Lucy vehemently argue, with him stating he's had past affairs and her saying she has as well, mentioning more than one guy, with Joey confusing that and asking if she had a 3-way with two guys. They then end up passionately kissing while clothed.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The truth of couples who are no longer in love and have lost the ability to have fun together.
  • A therapist's comments that a relationship should be about the couple and not the individuals.
  • The comment that some couples simply forget how to just talk to each other.
  • There's brief mention of testicular cancer.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Seeing Lucy dancing with Salvadore, Joey pushes various people aside, shoves Salvadore, and then punches him in the face, knocking him off his feet.



  • Reviewed October 6, 2009 / Posted October 9, 2009

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