Review: What Happens in Vegas
Plot: Newly dumped Joy (Cameron Diaz) & newly fired Jack (Ashton Kutcher) meet in Vegas, and after a drunken night on the town, they get married in a quickie ceremony. Of course, once sober the two are immediately at each other's throats- but matters are complicated when Jack wins a $3 million jackpot from a vending machine after playing Joy's quarter. Both refuse to split the jackpot with the other- so an unsympathetic judge (Dennis Miller) refuses to grant them a divorce, and freezes the $3 Million for six months, during which time the two must remain married and attend marital counseling or risk losing the money forever.
Review: Wow, Cameron Diaz & Ashton Kutcher together in a silly summertime romantic comedy- sounds pretty bad eh? I certainly thought so, as I walked into the press screening earlier this week. Normally I'm not a fan of either of these actors, and the only good romantic comedies to come out over the last few years have come from Judd Apatow. Imagine my surprise at the fact that I actually enjoyed WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS. While it's not exactly side split-tingly funny, it's a nice, fairly decent romantic comedy that actually made me laugh a few times.
I think what makes WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS work as well as it does is the fact that it's extremely well crafted. Director Tom Vaughan previously helmed the fairly well received british rom com STARTER FOR 10, so he's got some experience with the genre. Running a lean ninety six minutes, the film is paced very well and it doesn't take long for the story to get going. Also- as much as I hate to admit it, Ashton Kutcher & Cameron Diaz actually have pretty decent chemistry in this film, and they play off each other nicely. Kutcher tones down the slapstick in this one, and Diaz doesn't come off as air-headed as she usually does (I found her insufferable in the CHARLIE'S ANGELS films- although she did look good in a bikini).
Kutcher & Diaz aside, the one who made me laugh the most in this film was Rob Corddry as Kutcher's party animal best friend. This came as a bit of a shock, as Corddry's been in several comedies in the last few months (THE HEARTBREAK KID, SEMI-PRO), and he honestly hasn't been very funny in any of them. In WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS, he's the best he's been since his time on THE DAILY SHOW. He's great when he plays total party animal types, and he plays a hilarious drunk. He gets a fair amount of screen-time and I think this is a great showcase for him. Zach Galifianakis also puts in an appearance as another of Kutcher's buddies, and he has a few good lines.
Of course the film is completely predictable, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that DIaz & Kutcher are going to end up together in the end. She's a shrill compulsive tidy person, he's a sloppy, irresponsible layabout. Wanna bet that by the end, she'll learn to cut loose and have fun, and he'll learn to be responsible and caring? Still, there are worse ways to spend ninety minutes- and this will probably make a great date movie. Even if it doesn't take off the box office (although I have a feeling it might do surprisingly well), it will likely make a mint when it hits DVD.
While it's no KNOCKED UP or FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS is much better than your typical run of the mill tripe that passes for romantic comedies these days, and is definitely good for a few laughs.