Tuesday, May 13, 2008
What Happens in Vegas... Review
Yikes, I feel guilty to admit this but I really kind of enjoyed this movie. The film is far stronger in the early going as it embraces a really enjoyable mean streak that makes the otherwise mundane material more than tolerable. It's also marred by a sophomoric - actually, what's below sophomoric? freshmonic? - script and poor production values, but is saved by some really nice energy and some laughs. At the very least the film's concept is somewhat different (though just as contrived) as other recent romantic comedies which make the early acts feel a bit fresher.
Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher have really great chemistry here, which helps make everything click. Their performances are far from taxing or award worthy but are certainly amusing enough. The biggest laughs here actually come from the co-stars: Lake Bell and Rob Corddry. Corddry, who I've never found funny before, gets a lot of the best lines as Kutcher's inept lawyer buddy. Bell, who was tolerable in the awful Over Her Dead Body, plays a delightfully nasty character and leaves the best impression of all the players. The smaller players, among them Dennis Miller, Queen Latifah and Dennis Farina, all deliver occasional laughs, but none does anything of note with the material.
The film's biggest problem is in the final act where it abandons the battle of the sexes mentality to disastrous results. Vegas falls directly into the cliche plotlines of every other recent American romantic comedy; oh no they're split up for some misunderstood and foolish reason? I wonder if the offending party will ever be redeemed by some melodramatic gesture... I found myself desperately wishing that the film would end pleasantly fifteen minutes earlier if only to avoid the inevitable cliched climax. The film is also rife with brutal product placement - why must every character conspicuously hold every logo on every product directly in view of the camera - and is, on the whole, poorly made in every aspect from editing to lighting to camera placement. Despite these many deep flaws I enjoyed What Happens in Vegas for the guilty pleasure it is.
Overall Score: 6/10
What Happens in Vegas... Trailer