Couple’s Retreat is an excellent example of a mismanaged comedy. With the cast they have put together for this (Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, etc.) this should have been a lot better. And the strange thing is that all of the leads were all very good. They fit their characters well and delivered. But this is one of those strange cases where the whole is less than the sum of its parts.
Even though the actors here do their job, the real problems come from the writing, directing, and above all, the editing. So man, so so many, of the jokes here fall flat, and some of them are just downright inappropriate. It is bad comedy writing plain and simple. The jokes simply aren’t funny. Its also improbable. Would they all really just strip down to their underwear in their very first activity, no questions asked?
The directing is also quite off and has led to a lot of mistimed joke execution, adding to its unfunniness. (perhaps unfunniness isn’t a word, but it fits for this movie). But the editing is really bad. It is so choppy and unorthodox that I am constantly getting jarred out of the film experience. One minute they’re canoeing, then a storm comes? But in 2 seconds that storm is gone and added nothing. What?
This movie feels like it is just a bunch of newspaper clippings and bits taped together haphazardly on a sheet. There’s no flow, its jerky and awkward. Its poor movie-making. However, I did get through it, due in large part to Vince Vaughn. He and the rest of the cast do what they can, but it is ultimately a failed effort.
p.s. That yoga scene was just awful.