Posted by: Dr P | June 15, 2009

What Happens in Vegas

Well folks, this is my first review since Kate set up my fans group, so I am both excited and more than a little nervous! I’ve not had this much performance anxiety since the U15s Northern England area cricket cup final against Manchester Grammar School. I got a duck that day and had to suffer the ignominy of future England batsman John Crawley slogging the ball everywhere. Git!

However, I think I’m up to this particular challenge (the useful thing about typing being the fact that if I start babbling and writing absolute guff, I can just delete it and write something else. Not that I normally do, in fact I tend to go off at such a tangent that people have generally lost interest by paragraph 3).

Ahem. Welcome to paragraph 3 for those of you who have made it this far! Right, let’s cut to the chase. It was a balmy Tuesday evening, and my pre-film ritual had been to attend cricket club selection evening in my capacity as vice captain. One of the sheer joys of playing for a club like ours is the sort of incidents and discussions you don’t tend to get at bigger clubs. Last season for example we had one meeting which turned into a rather heated debate over whether to select the player who had suffered two heart attacks, or the player with just the one. In the interests of fairness we picked both!

OK, a rather disappointing set of trailers ensued, but things were immediately enlivened by the appearance of a new Orange advert! Magnificent! This one features a session with Rob Lowe in which all the members of the film panel completely ignore his pitch but just want him to stare at them with his “baby blue eyes”. Genius! The Orange adverts are something I have a particular love for, together with chocolate ice cream and things that make a loud noise when you bang them.

Onto the main attraction. The premise is quite simple. Cameron Diaz’s character Joy gets dumped – in front of all her mates. Ashton Kutcher’s character Jack gets fired – by his dad. It happens. So they each decide the best remedy for their woes is to head off to Vegas. Of course they meet, get very very drunk and wake up married. It happens. Having sensibly decided they want nothing more than to have the marriage annulled, they somehow contrive to pull off a 3 million dollar slot machine win. Yeh, it happ … no it doesn’t. Who writes this crap!?

Back at home, they go to court but the judge is so disgusted with what they’ve done he decides to freeze their assets (note to self, stop thinking about Cameron Diaz’s frozen assets) and sentences them to “6 months of hard marriage” in which they must prove to the court they’ve at least made a go of things – and if they do, he’ll give them the money. As a side note, I do love a funny name, and the judge is called “R. D. Whopper”. It made me titter quite a lot. But then I do have a mental age of 4. There’s a professor of engineering at Warwick called Graham Nudd, who will be totally oblivious to the fact that I spent the best part of 6 years walking past his name on science department corridors and sniggering. It happens. And as for his colleague, Laurence Scudder …

It’s at this point that the happy couple are forced to move in together, and this provides no end of hilarity as they try and out-annoy each other. The scenes you’ll have seen in the trailer, with Kutcher carrying Diaz over the threshold and then dropping her unceremoniously, and the one where he’s peeing in the sink, are brilliant, and there’s no shortage of other great moments.

Of course this being Hollywood, the couple end up slowly falling for each other, to the obvious distress of their best friends; Jack’s lawyer in particular is a superb supporting character who gets a lot of the best lines and facial reactions. The marriage counsellor to whom they must report each week is well played by Queen Latifah, and Joy’s boss, the wonderfully named Richard Banger (go on, you know you want to say it), is also really funny.

There are a couple more twists at the death which ensure it doesn’t quite run as smoothly as you might think, and all in all this is a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. An ideal date movie, and probably also a great movie if you’re looking for ways to annoy your other half. No I didn’t actually just type that.

Some particularly good quotes:

Jack Fuller: [standing outside the bathroom door] Can you hurry up?
Joy McNally: [from inside the bathroom, taking her time] Almost done!

[walks into the kitchen to find Jack urinating in their sink]
Jack Fuller: Oh yeah, this is really happening. Oh, and it’s your day for dishes.

Jack Fuller: How hard can it be?
Joy McNally: I know how hard it isn’t.

Jack Fuller Sr.: You’re like a son to me.
Jack Fuller: Dad, I am your son.

Tipper: I just wanna junk-punch him in his man business.

In summary then, a good film with two very likeable leads. I’ve never been a particular fan of blondes (Number 1 fan excepted), but Cam Diaz is always worth watching because she is willing to make herself look silly a lot of the time (Charlie’s Angels, There’s Something About Mary). Kutcher is also especially good, and again he’s someone I find very watchable whether he’s playing it for laughs (Just Married) or darker (Butterfly Effect). Go see this!

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