Film review: What Happens in Vegas

2008-05-18 00:00

If you like romantic comedies that stick to the tried and tested recipe, in the mould of 27 Dresses or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, this one won’t disappoint. It’s glossy, entertaining and instantly forgettable.

Joy (Cameron Diaz) is a Wall Street high achiever, but she’s a little uptight. Fellow New Yorker Jack (Ashton Kutcher) is her polar opposite, a slacker who can’t even keep a job with his dad. The two meet in Las Vegas, where they are partying off respective disappointments: Joy has been dumped in an excruciatingly embarrassing way by her stuffy fiancé, and Jack has been fired yet again. They get drunk during a montage and next day awake to discover they are somehow married. A divorce would be the obvious solution, but the thing is, they’ve won a $3 million jackpot on a slot machine and are ordered to stay together for six months in order to be able to claim any of it, living in Jack’s one-room flat. The two hate each other, try to derail the other’s commitment to the relationship, and inevitably start to fall for each other.

It’s pretty clear how this movie is going to end from about 15 minutes in and there’s no effort on the part of the filmmakers to deliver any surprises, so the entertainment comes from the journey rather than the destination. Most of the comedy comes from the mean things the two do to each other and the machinations of their respective best friends.

Unfortunately, the jokes are hit and miss and often so slapstick it’ll make you cringe.

There’s little resemblance to real human behaviour in these scenes, so the characters are pretty unbelievable.

It’s not utterly charmless, however; Kutcher and Diaz obviously like each other and with this much money thrown at a film, it can’t fail to at least look nice. But ultimately it’s a rather mediocre rehash.

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