Couples Retreat Movie’s Funny & Filled with Secrets to Marital Success
My wife and I went the movies to watch “Couples Retreat” and got a bit more than we expected. It was filled with the expected Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau gags. It’s a funny movie. But what surprised us was the very positive pro-marriage message. I think it’s just what the doctor ordered for a strained job seeker marriage. (It’s also a nice treat from a Hollywood that often portrays marriages as antiquated and irrelevant.)
The story begins with four couples going through the motions of married life. You see the cell phone interruptions, the hectic children activities, the work versus home life tug-a-war and trying to spend quality time together despite the busyness.
The adventure starts when one of the four couples talks the other three into going to a South Pacific resort. The other three are expecting a jet ski and water sports vacation, but what they didn’t expect is the required couples communication skills program that comes with it. It’s the part the first couple wants it to help resuscitate their failing relationship.
I wouldn’t call this as the funniest movie ever, but it delivers some great laughs at the expense of Yoga instructors, New Age teachers, therapists and foreign resort dialects. There’s a side-splitting couples Yoga class taught by long haired Carlos Ponce character named Salvatore you don’t want to miss.
Throughout the movie there were opportunities for the story to go hedonistic given that the “other side of the resort” has a “girls gone wild” reputation, but this one stood up for marriage. The men argued about how adultery, infidelity and fantasizing about other women can be a real marriage killer. They addressed control issues between couples. They deal with infertility and a messy divorce that’s gotten more complicated with the introduction of a younger other.
What really got me is when Vince Vaughn makes the statement that he’s sticking with his wife and he’s going to make a point to better his marriage. This came in opposition to Jon Favreau’s character’s hard sell that they join the fun with these very hot younger women. Vaughn’s message gives him (and us in the audience) something to think about.
I’ll be the first one to tell you marriage isn’t easy. My wife and I have been at it for 25 years this coming December. Throw in a few difficult job losses and the corresponding hunts on top of it and it’s enough to push any relationship over the edge toward divorce. However, given the alternatives, staying together is the option I’ve selected. It’s about knowing that other person intimately and loving them exactly as they are. All that comes through in the movie.
As we left the theater, my wife and I ran into a couple we knew and talked about how refreshing it was to see marriage covered in such a positive light and promoted so clearly. Given the craziness of balancing our work (job search) and family life, this is a good one for couples wanting to have a nice time together and also remind themselves of where they want to take their relationships.
Hope this helps!