Couples Retreat is trying to communicate a really important message, that of sticking together with your spouse through thick and thin. There are some very adult dialogues in the movie, so without too many sexual references, those that there are, add to the film in a very comic way!
In its attempts to portray real life, Billingsley is very successful in giving an interesting glimpse into relationships. There are some good examples of how to deal with, and how not to deal with (!) the serious temptation of adultery. However I found it a little unrealistic that the good-looking couples could get bored with each other. In real life it’s when people let themselves go a little bit during middle age that people tend to lose that loving feeling!
The main cast work really well together, and there are some great performances by Colin Baiocchi who plays Kevin, the youngest son of Vince Vaughn and Kristen Bell. He is very cute and perhaps a star in the making! Jean Reno helps the viewer to make sense of the Retreat, playing Marcel who designed the programme the couples are following.
I liked the premise of the film, the idea that it is good to take time out of the busyness of life to reflect on how your marriage is going and what really matters. Whilst the therapy is not always easy or successful, it seems to normalise the idea of asking for help, which I thought was healthy.
Overall I really enjoyed it and found it a refreshing nod in the right direction in a throw-away consumer culture, where “˜if something isn’t working – get rid of it’. It was a funny and energetic exposition of a really serious topic, being married and how to stay together, even through the toughest of times.
If you haven’t already, check out our Couples Retreat competition here.