What Happens in Vegas: It’s actually quite good!
What Happens in Vegas.. stars Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect, Cheaper By the Dozen), Cameron Diaz (The Sweetest Thing, There’s Something About Mary) along with a supporting cast that includes Queen Latifah (Taxi, Hairspray) and Dennis Farina (Snatch, recently allegedly caught in LAX with a firearm).
Now if you don’t know the story yet, you could probably take a wild stab in the dark and get it right. Kutcher and Diaz get drunk in Vegas, marry, win $3 million and are forced to live together as husband and wife for six months before they can get their hands on the money. Simple storyline, simply told, highly predictable, but here’s the rub: it’s actually pretty good!
Usually whilst watching films, I am known to be scribbling my notes in the dark and an attempt at deciphering those scribbles are made an hour after the show has finished. After today’s performance I left the cinema to find only four lines of text. What had happened? Was I so utterly shocked at how awful this film was? Actually you will find, it was quite the opposite!
The film begins with a choppy cut of Mika’s Grace Kelly, of which I am disgusted that they could not have used a better editor in the film. After five minutes, I laugh. I actually laugh! It was not at something unintentional. In fact it was quite a deliberate attempt (by the actors) at being comical, and they succeeded! Shock and horror! This is an Ashton Kutcher film! It shouldn’t make me laugh! It should make me feel pity for a man who’s claim to fame is the Butterfly Effect and Dude, Where’s my Car? Oh, and he is also married to Demi Moore! This should not make me laugh! I am better than that. Perhaps it was a fluke.
A further two minutes into the film gets another snigger from my lips. This doesn’t sound right. I had read on many occasions that this film was only mediocre and not to expect much. This being the main reason why I had not seen it until today, I was not exactly keen on the idea. Perhaps this is why I found myself so surprised when there were some truly laugh out loud moments.
When Queen Latifah was shown on screen as the couple’s court appointed therapist, I sighed expecting it to fall apart badly. I can only name one film that I like with this woman in, (Hairspray) and she wasn’t exactly overshadowing the rest. Yet again, I was to be proved wrong. After the first therapist visit, the appointments got funnier. Latifah played a much more refined role than usual. She played the straight character and became more amusing because of it.
I hate admitting I’m wrong! I’m a Gemini. It rarely happens (me being wrong, that is). For a movie I had deliberately ignored for a few weeks, it has been such a surprise to have enjoyed it. Kutcher plays a good easy going role (the one he always manages to get) and gets the laughs in well, whilst Diaz plays a very similar role to The Sweetest Thing (another film I enjoyed) and their banter is convincing and you can recognise chemistry.
The pace of the film seems fast and never let’s down which in this genre is always a good thing. I fact, the only time it does slow down a tad is when the inevitable happens (not exactly a spoiler, but there you are). The soundtrack is well used and compliments the film showing off old and new tracks alike, allowing them to encourage the pace of the movie extremely well and instead of ending on a predictably soppy note, it throws a curveball and sends you 6 months earlier to see the details of the aforementioned inebriated wedding. This is a great upbeat ending, which only serves to make you appreciate the film more.
I am truly shocked by this film! It should not be this good. Diaz is good but predictable and Kutcher is inconsistent (also predictable) and yet despite the highly predictable plot that doesn’t challenge any new frontiers it is still great fun. Surely that is what the movies is all about. It is good to laugh at a good movie. It is good to laugh at a comedy film.
As an added extra to this review, it is important to note that the wedding scene (in Vegas) was actually achieved by getting the main characters drunk and seeing what happens. You’d think, by watching the scene alone it is amusing enough. However, there were many outtakes which were ‘leaked’ on to the net. Below is a YouTube video of these outtakes (now been removed due to copyright infringements). If you don’t find this scene funny, then you will not enjoy the film. Personally, I thought it was highly entertaining.
Remember, this film is not for everyone and I’m sure I’ll be abused by every critic under the sun for this one, but the fact is we all have our own opinions and this one is well worth a watch.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5