Director: Tom Vaughan
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Rob Corddry,
Lake Bell, Michelle Krusiec, Dennis Farina, Krysten Ritter,
Jason Sudeikis, Queen Latifah, Zach Galifianakis
RunTime: 1 hr 39 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Official Website: http://www.whathappensinvegasmovie.com/
Opening Day: 8 May 2008
in Sin City, the storyline revolves around two strangers who
wake up to discover they got married sometime during the previous
night's drunken festivities, with one of them winning a huge
jackpot on the other's quarter. The couple set out to undermine
each other and claim the coin, only to fall in love along
Catch What Happens in Vegas and you'll probably be watching
the romantic comedy of the year. Cameron Diaz turns in a charming,
dazzling performance that oozes class and camp at the same
time, while Ashton Kutcher is finally cast in the right spot
- a boyish, puppy dog role that eases him into a role of easy-going,
nonchalant attractiveness, playing a more subordinate role
that Kutcher manages much better. Vegas avoids many horrible
pitfalls and cliches that plague saccharine sweet and cookie-cutter
rom-com flicks, while staying absolutely honest to the two
stars' innate, personal charm instead of stuffing them into
ill-fitted, scripted roles. Yes, regardless of what everyone
else might think or say, only guys who have possess little
interest or inclination for a good rom-com will thrash this
Diaz plays Joy, a outspoken, independent woman who loves her
boyfriend faultlessly but fails to read his real, inner mind.
During a surprise party, she is unceremoniously dumped by
him while all their friends lay hidden behind/under furniture,
listening in to the entire event. Her love life eventually
crashes and burns, leading her to the utter lackadaisical
bum of a person, Jack.
Kutcher plays Jack to a T. He's lazy, doesn't clean his place,
bums around with a whole bunch of his mates knowing little
of what he wants in life. He and his attitude conspire to
get him fired from a furniture by a company who's boss is
his very own dad. Jack meets his best friend for a drink in
the bar and director Tom Vaughan (or his editors), pulls off
a cleverly edited scene which could easily have fallen flat
as Jack and Joy simultaneously decide in Vegas while moping
in different bars.
What sealed the Vegas deal was how the two characters used
Diaz and Kutcher brilliantly. We see Diaz's campy yet wild-child
club-dancing inner child manifested in a outspoken yet innately
insecure woman, finding her match through the most unlikely
of ways after a one night stand and when subsequently her
penny, slotted in by Kutcher's Jack, wins the casino jackpot.
Jack doesn't try to win her over, neither does Joy show any
long term interest in him and the irritation shown by the
two seemed irrepressibly genuine and not over the top.
Vegas is made more fun by Rob Corddry and Lake Bell, both
of whom play best pals of Jack and Joy respectively and serve
a a foil couple that brings out the best in the two lead characters.
The beer guzzling, stupid-idea pushing best pal and a social
butterfly wannabe friend who gives her crazy advice cross
swords themselves in a similar love hate relationship. Look
out for that excellent scene where Corddry's character punches
and beats up Kutcher, who later hams it up hilariously, sobbing
in front of the marriage counsellor feigning trauma of abuse.
Diaz sits indifferent and smiling before pulling out her Blackberry
clip of the bumbling guys mucking it up on the streets. Kutcher's
look of embarrassed resignation was priceless.
Director Vaughan pulls out all the calling cards of a rom-com
movie but makes it so genuinely fun you feel you've rediscovered
the fun in popcorn stuffing laugh it out loud comedies with
your girlfriend. The stereotypes and issues addressed are
poignant, not cliched. Where we are resigned to seeing one
stale moment of rom-com joke per quarter of an hour, Santa
Vaughan stuffs our comedy stocking full of Easter egg nuances,
behavioural quirks and subtle bells and whistles that scream
a undemanding, enjoyable ride.
Lastly, What Happens in Vegas is indeed a cheeky aside at
Britney's Vegas mess-up but surely this is the classiest attempt
at mockery ever. Vaughan avoids overt references via dialogue
and the main chunk of the movie revolves so much around the
roller-coaster fun between Joy and Jack that the idea itself
becomes an complimentary icing on the cake. The drunk, insane
wedding clip at the end of the show and Kutcher's insinuating
criticism of Diaz during their quarrels makes you kick your
heels in delight that you've found one of those directors
who don't take the audience for intellectually challenged
fools who cannot appreciate subtlety.
Guys, put aside your machismo-tinted classes and enjoy this
four popcorn tubs full of fun!
(What Happens in Vegas hits the small-thrills jackpot of fun)
Review by Daniel Lim