Couples Retreat Movie PosterI like going to films for which I have no idea what they are about, sometimes you are pleasantly surprised and this is what I found with Couples Retreat. Peter Billingsley directs an all-star cast which includes Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love, Kristin Davis, Malin Akerman and Kristen Bell. The main plotline focuses on four couples who decide to go away to a marriage retreat together when one of the couples, played by Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell realise that they need help with their marriage. They manage to convince their 6 friends to come along with the proviso that they may have to go to some sort of couples therapy, but only if they want to! After showing them a “˜death-by-PowerPoint’ slideshow and beautiful images from Bora Bora, they manage to convince the otherCouples Retreats to go along with them. The scenery in the film is fantastic, with holiday postcard views and gorgeous hotel facilities on offer.  Throughout the entire film, you’re just left thinking, “˜I wish I was there’ ““ maybe that’s why Universal decided to send all the main blog sites off to Bora Bora for the press junket (I think our invite was lost in the post!).

Couples RetreatCouples 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!Couples Retreat

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.

Couples RetreatI 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.