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Couples Retreat

Theatrical film poster
Directed by Peter Billingsley
Produced by Scott Stuber
Written by Jon Favreau
Vince Vaughn
Dana Fox
Starring Vince Vaughn
Jason Bateman
Jon Favreau
Faizon Love
Kristen Bell
Malin Akerman
Kristin Davis
Kali Hawk
Tasha Smith
Peter Serafinowicz
Carlos Ponce
and Jean Reno
Music by A. R. Rahman
Studio Relativity Media
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) October 9, 2009 (2009-10-09)
Running time 113 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[1]
Gross revenue $169,020,169[2][3]

Couples Retreat is a 2009 American comedy film directed by Peter Billingsley and written by Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn and Dana Fox. Vaughn and Favreau star with Faizon Love, Jason Bateman, Kristin Davis, Kristen Bell, Malin Akerman and Jean Reno. It was released on October 9, 2009 in the United States. The film was shot mostly on the island Bora Bora. The film was rated PG-13 by the MPAA.

Contents

Plot

Dave (Vince Vaughn), a dealer for the Guitar Hero Wii game, and Ronnie (Malin Akerman), a stay at home mom, are a typical couple with two young boys. They experience various stresses in their lives, including redecorating their house and raising their sons. Joey (Jon Favreau) and Lucy (Kristen Davis) are high school sweethearts with a typical rebellious teenage daughter. They are unhappy and no longer in love. Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) are a neurotic couple who've experienced multiple failed attempts to conceive. And Shane (Faizon Love), who has recently separated, has a much younger twenty-something girlfriend, Trudy (Kali Hawk).

At Dave's son's birthday party, Jason and Cynthia call a side meeting and, using PowerPoint, they announce their troubled marriage and that they are considering divorce. As a last ditch effort to save their marriage, they have found a special couples therapy resort named "Eden". They have found a package deal named the "Pelican Package": half the normal cost if they can get 3 other couples to join them. In their PowerPoint presentation, they show beautiful pictures of sunlit beaches, and assure the others that the couples therapy parts are purely optional.

That night, Dave & Ronnie discuss their stresses, their desire to go to the retreat, and their inability to go because of childcare responsibilities. Suddenly their home security alarm is activated when Jason shows up unexpectedly, making a house visit to further sell the idea of the retreat. The commotion wakes up Dave and Ronnie's kids, who reveal that they have overheard their parents' conversations. Fearing that their parents are contemplating divorce, the kids have already arranged for Dave's father to come babysit them so that their parents can go to "Eden".

Eden proves to be divided into "Eden West" and "Eden East". "Eden West" is for couples and uses the tagline "Stay Together"; "Eden East" is for singles and uses the tagline "Come Together." "East" and "West" attendees are not allowed to intermingle. Upon arrival at Eden West, the four couples are shown the villas they will be staying in, and then gather for dinner. At dinner, Sctanley, the resort host (Peter Serafinowicz) informs them that the couples therapy, which starts at 6.00 am, is actually mandatory, and that, if any couple fails to attend, it will be taken as an indication that they want to leave, and a partial refund will be given. As most of the group had been reluctant to do the couples therapy in the first place, they debate whether they should go; but after an indulgent dinner with many delicacies, they decide to put up with "a couple of hours" of therapy in the morning in order to enjoy the other amenities of the resort.

In the morning, each couple meets with an assigned therapist. All four couples learn that they have problems with their relationships, even Ronnie and Dave, who thought they were fine. They endure the resort owner Marcel's (Jean Reno) unusual methods, including swimming with and feeding Lemon sharks and yoga sessions with amorous instructor Salvadore (Carlos Ponce).

On the fourth night, Trudy escapes to Eden East; the other seven, encouraged by Joey who is unsatisfied with his marriage, leave to find her. Following an argument between Cynthia and Jason, the men and women split up. As they try to find their way to the resort, the men end up arguing and pointing out each others' marriage mistakes.

The women run into Salvadore blah blah, who takes them to Eden East. The men come across the staff lounge, and find Sctanley playing Guitar Hero. He threatens to report them to Marcel, but Dave challenges him to the game (without telling Sctanley that he is involved in the game's production). Dave beats Sctanley, who, having lost the wager, directs them to Eden East.

When they arrive, Dave realizes what a good thing he has with Ronnie and goes with her to be alone at a waterfall. Joey finds Lucy with Salvadore and knocks him out, re-uniting with his wife. Cynthia and Jason share drinks and admit their problems. Shane runs into his ex-wife, who admits she still loves him, and that she had only left him to be single again, which had turned out to feel unsavory. Shane tells Trudy to remain in Eden East and enjoy being single, then leaves with his ex-wife. All four couples return to Eden West.

Marcel meets the couples and, seeing that they have worked out their problems, frees them from the therapy and suggests they go jet skiing.

Cast

Soundtrack

Couples Retreat
Soundtrack by A. R. Rahman
Released
October 6, 2009
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
A.M. Studios
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Relativity Music Group
Producer A.R. Rahman
Professional reviews
A. R. Rahman chronology
Blue
(2009)
Couples Retreat
(2009)
Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya
(2010)

The score for Couples Retreat was composed and produced by Oscar award winner A. R. Rahman[5] and recorded in the summer of 2009 with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage. The film marks his Hollywood debut.[6] A soundtrack album was released October 6, 2009 by Relativity Music Group.[7][8]. The song NaNa was longlisted for 2010 Academy Award for Best Original Song nominations. [9] The Tamil lyrics for the song Kurukuru Kan was written by A. R. Rahman himself. Lyrics for Sajna were written by Rahman and Blaaze while that for NaNa were by Rahman, Blaaze and Vivianne Chaix.

Tracklist
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Sajna"   P. J. Morton 3.09
2. "Kurukuru Kan (Afro Nisha)"   A. R. Rahman 2:56
3. "Jason & Cynthia Suite"   Instrumental 5:15
4. "NaNa"   A. R. Rahman, Blaaze, Vivian Chaix, A. R. Ameen, Clinton Cerejo & Dominic Cerejo 3:03
5. "Tour of the Villas"   Instrumental 2:55
6. "Meeting Marcel"   Instrumental 3:31
7. "Itinerary"   Instrumental 3:17
8. "Undress"   Instrumental 1:34
9. "Sharks"   A. R. Rahman 2:47
10. "Luau" (By John O'brien) Instrumental 3:30
11. "Salvadore"   Kailash Kher & Vijay Prakash 2:24
12. "Intervention"   A. R. Rahman 2:47
13. "The Waterfall"   Instrumental 1:23
14. "Jason & Cynthia Piano Theme"   Instrumental, Piano by Randy Kerber 2:30
15. "Animal Spirits"   Instrumental 3:36

Production

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Filming locations

The primary location for filming was at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Bora Bora in French Polynesia.[10][citation needed] Other filming locations include Los Angeles, Universal Studios and O'Hare International Airport.

Marketing

Universal Pictures was criticized for removing actors Faizon Love and Kali Hawk from the international posters for the film, showing only six, rather than the eight cast members used for the U.S. promotional materials. The studio said it regretted causing offense and has abandoned plans to use the revised poster in other countries.[11][12]

Universal Pictures partnered with various groups for financial support to help market the film. Sponsors include the Tourism Board of Tahiti, where the film was made; the manufactures of Bud Light and Captain Morgan's Rum; Bloomingdale's department store; and Crunch Gyms. The video game Guitar Hero is also prominently featured in the film.

The Tamil song 'Na Na' was shortlisted for nomination in the original song category for the 82nd Academy Awards. The number is special for composer Rahman as it also marks his six-year-old son Alim's debut as a singer.

'Na Na' was written by Rahman along with rapper Blaaze and Vivian Chaix, and sung by the trio along with Alim, Clinton and Dominic.[13]

Reception

Critical reviews

The film received mostly negative reviews. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, the film received generally unfavorable reviews earning a score of 23% based on 27 reviews.[14] Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an aggregate rating of 11% based on 145 reviews, with a rating score of 3.6 out of 10. The critical consensus is: "Despite a talented cast and some reliably pleasant interplay between Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, Couples Retreat leaves viewers stranded in an arid, mirthless comedy."[15]

Box office

Despite the negative critical reception, it was a box office success, ranking first for its opening weekend grossing $34,286,740 and becoming Vince Vaughn's highest box office success since 2006's The Break-Up. The film has grossed $109.2 million domestically and $58.8 million in foreign markets for a worldwide total of $168 million.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Movie projector: 'Couples Retreat' could bring Universal much needed good news". Los Angeles Times. 2009-10-08. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2009/10/movie-projector-couples-retreat-could-bring-much-needed-good-news-to-universal.html. 
  2. ^ "Movie Couples Retreat - Box Office Data". The-Numbers. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/CPLRT.php. Retrieved 2010-2-24. 
  3. ^ a b "Couples Retreat (2009) Box Office". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=couplesretreat.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  4. ^ Bryon Perry (2008-11-23). "Tasha Smith". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117996361.html. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  5. ^ http://www.couplesretreatsoundtrack.com/bio/index.html (Warning: white text on white background)
  6. ^ Dan Goldwasser (2009-10-05). "A.R. Rahman scores Couples Retreat". ScoringSessions.com. http://www.scoringsessions.com/news/199/. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  7. ^ http://www.couplesretreatsoundtrack.com/
  8. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Couples-Retreat-Original-Picture-Soundtrack/dp/B002Q7JYX4
  9. ^ http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/rahman_oscar_bound_once_again.php
  10. ^ Can be seen from film credits and the official St. Regis Bora Bora website.
  11. ^ Miles Goslett (2009-11-15). "Race row as black stars are airbrushed from Couples Retreat film poster". The Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1227868/Race-row-black-stars-airbrushed-Couples-Retreat-film-poster.html. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  12. ^ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/the_big_picture/2009/11/universals-new-black-eye-africanamerican-actors-disappear-from-couples-retreat-poster.html
  13. ^ Marc Graser (2009-10-13). "Activision, Universal couple on 'Hero'. 'Couples' stars play 'Guitar' in new tie-in". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118009898.html. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  14. ^ Couples Retreat at Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-10-27.
  15. ^ "Couples Retreat". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/couples_retreat/. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 

External links


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