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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.76%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 2.38%
Pretty Bad: 16.67%
Total Crap76.19%

5 reviews, 12 user ratings

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What Happens in Vegas
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by Lybarger

"..should stay in Vegas."
2 stars

“What Happens in Vegas” has a similar structure to “Knocked Up,” only it has neither the unplanned pregnancy, nor the laughs. Essentially, the film is a sucker bet, unable to provide any sort of benefit to viewers who haven’t been imbibing as heavily as the main characters.

The film concerns a pair of completely incompatible New Yorkers who are supposed to fall in love despite a personality gap as wide as the grand canyon. Jack Fuller, Jr. (Ashton Kutcher) has managed to find an apartment of his own in New York even though he’s too lazy to handle the simplest of tasks at his father’s (Treat Williams) carpentry shop. Needless to say, Dad eventually shuts down the gravy train.

Joy McNally, on the other hand, is a type-A workaholic whose relentless attention to detail leads her boyfriend (Jason Sudeikis) to dump her.

The two decide to drown their sorrows by joining their pals Jeff (Rob Corddry) and Tipper (Lake Bell) in Las Vegas for a lost weekend. After drinking enough booze to replace the water in Lake Erie, Jack and Joy awaken to discover that they’ve married each other.

Before the two can get the mistake annulled, they score nearly $3 million on a slot machine. Needless to say, they discover that sharing that much money isn’t easy. After all, with the current economy, that’s enough cash to buy gas back to the Big Apple.

They wind up in court, with the none-too-bright Jeff serving as Jack’s attorney. The unsympathetic judge (Dennis Miller) sentences them to marital counseling and threatens to freeze the money unless they learn to get along.

Despite the earnest efforts of their counselor (Queen Latifah, playing the only likable character in the film), Jack and Joy do everything in their power to sabotage each other’s role in the marriage and the money associated with it.

Their preordained reconciliation might have been enjoyable if the two protagonists were likable. Each is remarkably selfish, making romance as unpleasant as it is unlikely. Their dim-witted friends aren’t much fun either. When other characters discuss how the leads have grown, but viewers can see very little of it for themselves, it’s obvious the film has failed.

It doesn’t help that screenwriter Dana Fox’s ear for snappy repartee is non existent. When Jack makes a quip about how difficult a task is, Joy retorts, looking at his crotch, “I know how hard it isn’t.”

Later Jack mysteriously charms Joy’s boss (Dennis Farina) with a series of crude but weak wisecracks (since their names are Jack and Dick, it’s easy to guess where this will go).

If you want to replicate the success of Judd Apatow’s better movies, it’s good to include appealing, if flawed, protagonists and genuine wit. Neither can be found here.

At the same time in order to earn a PG-13 rating, the characters repeatedly use the word “effen” to substitute for a popular expletive. The only thing more irritating than excessive profanity is the relentless use of lame euphemisms.

Rookie Scottish director Tom Vaughan is a filmmaker of rare skill. Not many directors have the ability to cast solid comedians like Dennis Miller and Zach Galifianakis render both of them unamusing. Save your money and catch Galifianakis in a series of eerily hilarious videos on It’s a safer bet than “What Happens in Vegas.”

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originally posted: 05/09/08 19:00:00
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User Comments

5/12/16 David Hollingsworth Worse than getting your teeth drilled. 1 stars
9/04/15 David Hollingsworth Another crappy Diaz rom com. 1 stars
7/04/09 Jim Typical Kick-In-The-Balls humor. Disappointing. 1 stars
5/19/09 mary m I loved it. Ashton and Cameron were really cute together. 5 stars
1/10/09 jssgarden this movie is terribly racist. It's not even funny, it's just stupid. 1 stars
9/15/08 ashton loved it!! ashton did really well not so much the others 5 stars
8/28/08 Jon g Ashton Kutcher movie = corny 2 stars
6/05/08 Jayson Diaz and Kutcher make a great comedic pair. 3 stars
5/26/08 George Barksdale Stay away 1 stars
5/22/08 Maryanne Oh my head...that was physically painful! 1 stars
5/13/08 Lou I broke my first rule - never see an Ashton Kutcherfilm - and paid dearly 1 stars
5/09/08 Jérémy A piece of shit. 1 stars
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  09-May-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 26-Aug-2008


  DVD: 26-Aug-2008

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