Written by Pollo Misterioso
What Happens in Vegas is like a bad mixed drink. All the elements for a popular Hollywood romantic comedy are there, but something doesn’t blend right, leaving you with a bad aftertaste.
The tag line for this film is “Get Lucky,” marketed along with two huge grins from the lead actors, Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher. Both of them haven’t been seen in a film for a while and by pairing them together (and lucky for us), they seem to be making a comeback.
Tackling the romantic comedy genre should be easy. You take two unlikely people and introduce them to one another. There then must be a problem as to why they cannot see each other, or cannot be with one another. They eventually fall in love and live happily in their fantasy world. Like I said, it should be easy—somehow Vegas makes it very hard.
Diaz plays Joy McNally, a businesswoman who hates her job and has just been dumped by her fiancé. She is emotionally unstable and her biggest flaw is that she is not truly happy, doing everything for everyone else. Kutcher plays Jack Fuller, a hotshot furniture-maker that recently has been fired from his job by his father and who simply cannot finish anything, including rolling dice for craps.
When they both go to Vegas, with their best friends, played by Rob Corddry and Lake Bell, Joy and Jack meet, get drunk, get married, and in the middle of deciding their annulment win three million dollars. Back in New York, in an attempt to preserve the sanctity of marriage, the judge orders that the money is frozen for six months as they live together and try to make it work. Unfortunately for them, they must pretend to be happy in order to be awarded the money, but that doesn’t mean they don’t try their best to hate one another in the process.
What seems to be a good idea turns out to be a series of sick jokes. Most of the film is spent watching one of them try to sabotage the other. This has the potential to work, but only if it comes off as lighthearted and funny, but here it doesn’t. Reminiscent of the film The Break Up where two hours is spent watching people argue, most of the film is watching two characters (who you know will fall for one another) hurt each other in cruel ways. Not to mention that the whole movie talks about how good-looking both of them are, shouldn’t they just be attracted immediately?
This is not to say that there are not some genuine parts to the film; most are carried by the awesome cast of actors behind the two stars. Simply watching Zach Galifianakis is funny and most of the ridiculous comedy is written for the friends. When Joy and Jack finally fall for each other, it is heartfelt and wonderful to see. The two gorgeous lead actors are finally looking comfortable and gorgeous at each other.
In the DVD extras the director Tom Vaughan says that Ashton and Cameron did not have to audition for these parts, they were pitched for them. If these were the two actors in mind for this movie, they should have thought about what these actors are best at. They may both be good at physical comedy, but this movie tries to make light of mean tricks and they just fall short.
What Happens in Vegas plays off the idea of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” unfortunately for this film, it would have been better if it did.
The DVD extras on this film are definitely worth watching on this film. The best extra is “DVD Extra Time with Zach Galifianakis” where he interviews the director. It is hilarious and borderline inappropriate. There is also a short interview between Cameron and Ashton where they discuss their own interpretation of the film and what actually happens in Vegas.