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Thursday, 8 May 2008

What Happens in Vegas

On the surface there's no real reason why a movie should look like a stinker simply because it stars Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher. They're both solid performers, and they've both been in decent films. But this one looked terrible from the poster alone and sitting through it doesn't just confirm that bad impression - it adds in hitherto unsuspected layers of awfulness (not to mention numerous close-ups on Diaz, who seems to have managed to somehow varnished her face). The set-up is both painful and dull: Jack (Kutcher) is a lazy slacker, Joy (Diaz) is a high-powered workaholic, and when they both go to Vegas to forget their problems (he's been fired by his dad, her boyfriend's dumped her) of course they get drunk and married to each other. It's a mistake and they both know it, but then they manage to win three million dollars on the pokies on the way to getting a quickie divorce and before you know it a judge (Dennis Miler) is ordering them to spend the next six months married to each other before he'll even consider splitting up the cash. The barrage of nasty tricks they play on each other to try and get the other to leave could have been mildly funny in a lighter, warmer film, but these two might as well be hacking at each other with rusty garden tools for all the fun on offer here. There are no twists, no likeable performances, no decent laughs, and no reason not to leave this loser in Vegas where it belongs.

Anthony Morris (this review appeared in Forte #427)