Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What Happens in Vegas...

Hell Yeah We're Married!

My only trip to the US (not counting the toddler days) where I can remember what the heck I was doing, was back in December 2005 (gee, time flies!) where I spent a total of 7 full days trawling the streets as well as the casinos up and down the Strip and its outskirts, and seriously, it's never as sexy as that portrayed in the movies (or that television series), though you'd truly never really run out of things to do, despite everything being overly expensive at tourist prices. I think I still possess a mental map of everything on the Strip!

And of course, Vegas is famous amongst other things besides the Elvis impersonators, live entertainment etc, is the ability to conduct quicky marriages, which is what Ashton Kutcher's Jack Fuller and Cameron Diaz's Joy McNally get themselves into during a night of drunken stupor and cheap dares, two lonely souls who journey to Sin City as an escapism from their failed lives, where you can enjoy all the pleasures the city have to offer, before the drudge comes kicking in when you receive that credit card bill.

So begins the story when the duo find themselves in a situation to annul their marriage given a night of impulse that they cannot remember, but cannot do so when McNally's quarter was inserted into a jackpot machine by Fuller, and that brought them a cool 3 million dollars jackpot. Which they can't agree how to split the money, and a quirky judge sentenced them to 6 months "hard marriage" to work through their marital vows, before their frozen cash can be touched. As what the trailer had already explicitly spelt out, it's War of the Roses in Mr and Mrs Smith styled couch-therapy sessions by Queen Latifah, with comedy ranging from the slapstick, to the plain juvenile toilet tricks.

Attempts to elevate the movie and give the characters more depth, come in the form of Jack Fuller learning to believe in himself and to shed his playboy, non-commital ways, and with Joy McNally having to learn to let her hair down, lighten up, and basically doing something she loves rather than to continue doing things that she dislikes, in true "live your dream" fashion. And throw in a quirky boss and ideal parents into the mix, you'd have a whole host of supporting cast to boost variety in this rather predictable tale, where you can see the outcome shining brightly like a star in a moonless night.

I thought Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz could be playing themselves, i.e. one's dating an older woman, the other other no qualms in dating younger men. Well, at least their characters had never felt the need to reveal their ages, but you can tell Diaz is a spring chicken no longer since her big screen debut in The Mask. Typical of all her roles, Diaz again plays a ditzy blonde with quirky skill sets, and I thought somebody should really consider giving her a role in an action movie, since she has on display, really menacing looking biceps, and a scene where she got to show off her combo moves of a right hook and reverse roundhouse kick.

Kutcher on the other hand is, well, Kutcher from Punk'd, with nothing really new offered in his role of the smooth talking slacker with brooding good looks. Instead, the one who stole the show was sidekick Rob Corddry as Hater, Fuller's best friend and lawyer. He would already be familiar to some as the crazy Homeland Security agent in Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, and I'd stick my neck out to say this is one guy to watch over the next few comedic movies, as he totally let it rip in this movie with his crazy antics.

At best, What Happens in Vegas is ideal for those itching for yet another formulaic romantic-comedy from the factories of Hollywood, or for those who missed out on the hot tickets for Speed Racer. Stay behind after the end credits roll for a final coda. There are 2 at the beginning of the end credits, but hold out right until the end before you decide to make for the exit.

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