|Available at Amazon.com|
It has become a popular phrase to say whenever Americans go on vacation. If you are any popular tourist city, you are bound to hear someone say “what happens in **insert city here**, stays in **insert city here**!” The most common iteration of that phrase is “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!” Las Vegas is known as sin city, because it’s the one place where you can go and do or say things you would never do or say in your real life. The problem with that statement is that it’s absolutely false. In today’s world, everything you do or say can easily be seen or heard by other people, and word gets around extremely quickly. With that being said, you knew it was still just a matter of time before someone took that popular saying and made a movie from it. Throw in a couple of good-looking stars like Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, and it would seem like you would have a hit movie on your hands, or at the very least just another average romantic comedy.
In What Happens In Vegas, Joy McNally (Cameron Diaz) is a Wall Street workaholic who has just gotten dumped by her fiancé. Meanwhile, Jack Fuller (Ashton Kutcher) is the slacker son of a judgmental businessman who has just gotten fired by his dad. So Jack along with his best friend, Hater (Rob Corddry), and Joy and her best friend, Tipper (Lake Bell), decide go to Vegas to help Jack and Joy forget about their respective firing and breakup. The four eventually end up being assigned the same hotel room, and decide to have a drink together after the error has been resolved. One thing leads to another for Joy and Jack, and they wake after their drunken night on the town to discover they now are married. They realize their mistake and are on their way to nullify the marriage until Jack hits a $3 million jackpot from a slot machine. They each claim equal shares of a $3-million slot-machine win. However, when the regretful newlyweds take the matter to court, the judge (Dennis Miller) defends the sanctity of marriage and sentences them to “six months of hard marriage” during which they are supposed to try to work things out, with the the help of a marriage counselor (Queen Latifah).
The story is just like every other romantic comedy out there. In fact, it’s oddly similar to the 2003 film Just Married, which also starred Ashton Kutcher. Two people with opposite personalities get married to each other without knowing each other for very long. They realize the mistake, fight for the majority of the film, until the end where they learn that they actually love each other after all. The plot is all too predictable. Sometimes it is fun to watch Diaz and Kutcher antagonize each other, but the for the most part the comedy and antics are juvenile and a little too slap-sticky.
Kutcher and Diaz have proven to be more than capable leads in the past, and they seem to be particularly good in romantic comedies. With that in mind, their chemistry together on screen is great and highly believable. They bring tremendous energy to the film, which only helps this film. The supporting characters, especially the sidekicks for Diaz and Kutcher, are great as well. In fact, they often steal scenes away from the starring roles. With any other cast, this film might have been unwatchable.
What Happens In Vegas is a film that feels all too familiar to many different films. The story is not that dramatic, the dialogue is not that witty, and the comedy is not that smart. But thanks to the cast trying extremely hard this comedy is at least fun to watch. There are definitely better romantic comedies out there, but at the same time there are a lot worse ones as well. Basically, What Happens In Vegas is really a lot like getting married in Vegas on one drunken night. It’s not the best idea (for a movie or life in general), but at least you will have a little fun. Just don’t think you will remember a whole lot of it days later.
The video is given in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen color, which is enhanced for 16:9 TVs. The video is good and comparable to other new release DVDs. Not the best video, but there are no major problems at all.
The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, or French 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish, and French. The dialogue and music come out loud and clear, so no major problems here either.
Audio Commentary –
This is a full-length commentary with Tom Vaughan (director) and Matt Friedman (editor). They provide a lot of information about filming this movie and other “behind-the-scenes” stuff. However, it’s not that entertaining. This would have been a lot better if Diaz or Kutchner were involved.
“Sitting Down with Cameron and Ashton” Featurette –
This runs 8 minuts and it’s a conversation between the two stars in a hotel room on the Strip. Most of the conversation revolves around the differences between men and women in picking up the opposite sex. Nothing groundbreaking is said here, it’s just your usual “promotion” special feature.
DVD Extra Time with Zach Galifianakis –
This runs 8 minutes and it’s a “fake” interview that has stand-up comedian Zach Galifianakis interviewing the director, Tom Vaughan. Galifianakis frequently insults Vaughan, and it’s really not funny at all.
From the Law Firm of Stephen J. Hater, Esq Commercial –
This is a two-minute “fake” commercial featuring Rob Corddry. In it, Corddry offers his legal services to gay people so they can get a divorce too. Not that funny either.
Gag Reel –
This runs for 5 minutes and it’s a lot of improv with Dennis Miller, Rob Corddry and Zach Galifianakis offering alternate takes of various scenes in the film. The usual messed up lines are also here as well. Funny, but not laugh-out-loud funny.
Deleted Scenes –
There are 6 deleted/extended scenes that total 8 minutes. Nothing that really adds much to this film was cut, but they are there if you want to watch them.
You will most likely enjoy this if you are a fan of Cameron Diaz or Ashton Kutchner, but they have both appeared in better and funnier films. So it’s not recommended as an automatic purchase. The film is pretty generic, but it is mostly fun. Therefore, it is worth a rental but really not worth a second look.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment presents What Happens in Vegas. Directed by Tom Vaughan. Written by Dana Fox. Starring Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Rob Corddry, Lake Bell, Jason Sudeikis, Queen Latifah, and Dennis Miller. Running time: 101 minutes. Rated: PG-13. Released on DVD: August 26, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.