Manhattan, and a highly-strung, very organized stockbroker, Joy McNally has just suffered a disastrous breakup with her boyfriend on his birthday and at the surprise party that she had organized for him. On the other side of the city, easy-going Jack Fuller has just been fired from his job as a carpenter – by his father! In an effort to escape their problems, both grab their best friend and head off to the one place where a person can forget all of their troubles and just party all night long – Las Vegas.
An accidental meeting, a night of drunken partying and debauchery, and come morning, the discovery of a ring on her finger brings Joy’s worst fears to life – she has just managed to get married! Of course, the agreement to split up is mutual because minus the drink, Jack and Joy don’t exactly get along very well – that is until he puts her last quarter in the slot machine and manages to hit the 3 million dollar jackpot!
Married by law and unable to come to an amicable settlement over the money, the first move is to try and divorce and then claim the money from the other, but unfortunately for the two of them, things aren’t going to work out quite so easily. Annoyed by the ‘couple’ in front of him, the judge decides to teach the two of them a lesson, freezing the money and sentencing them both to six months of hard marriage!
To make sure they aren’t cheating and thereby lose all access to the money, they will have to live together and attend marriage counseling together – even if it kills them. Of course, this wasn’t exactly love at first sight and after figuring out that if you can get your partner to cheat and thereby break the marriage you’ll get all the money, the fun and games really begin to shift into high gear! The only problem is… what happens if they actually do start falling for one another?
What Happens in Vegas… is a 2008 romantic comedy from 20th Century Fox, directed by Tom Vaughan and starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher in the lead roles as the ‘loving’ couple.
With established comedic stars like Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher you know that this should be one hell of a slapstick comedy and to that extent, What Happens in Vegas… certainly does not disappoint. The premise for the story on its own is already gold and provides the perfect platform for a good comedy. Add a really well cast set of supporting actors and you have a winner. It is as simple as that. The writing is sharp, witty, funny, dramatic and touching where it needs to be and in the end manages to be just as romantic judging by the sneaky tears it invokes in its audience (I generally use Chantelle as a barometer for these types of movies in case you are wondering where I draw these statements from).
Amazingly enough Ashton Kutcher manages to rise magnificently to his more romantic and dramatic scenes and actually pulls off a very convincing character in the end. Sure, the punk’d and goofy moments he can pull off with his eyes closed, but to see such a nice and deep character at times from him in particular is actually pretty cool. Cameron Diaz as always shines in her goofy, energetic and then more meaningful and sad moments and plays the part of Joy perfectly. We’ve seen these kinds of roles from her before, and truly this is the genre in which she shines the brightest.
And while we have some established faces like Queen Latifa and Treat Williams, it is actually the two lesser-known main supporting actors that steal the show, in the form of Rob Corddry as Jeffery “Hater” Lewis (Jack’s best friend) and Lake Bell as Toni “Tipper” Saxson (Joy’s best friends). Both put in a sterling performance as the Devil’s Advocate and set up more than a few of the funnier moments in the film.
The camera work is all solid as is the general look of the movie, and the movie features an inspired soundtrack selection which adds to the fun of it all and helps drive the more touching moments along.
Certainly What Happens in Vegas… can be considered your standard, formulaic romantic comedy and follows all of the genre’s rules and guidelines, but the fun chemistry between Diaz and Kutcher makes for a fun watch and the comedy will actually have you laughing out loud more often than not and when the tearjerker scenes hit you, surprisingly enough they hit you just as hard, which is a hallmark of a great romantic story.
A proper, contemporary romantic comedy that is sure to please all couples and makes for a fun date movie which will leave you and your partner feeling good on the inside as the final credits finally roll on by.