What Happens in Vegas – Blu-ray Review
By Jeff Swindoll Aug 26, 2008, 17:11 GMT
After the wildest party night of their lives, two mismatched strangers, Jack (Ashton Kutcher) and Joy (Cameron Diaz), wake up in Vegas to discover they not only got lucky - they got married! The road to annulment takes a hilarious turn after Jack wins a three million dollar jackpot while playing Joy\'s quarter and a no-nonsense judge (Dennis Miller) sentences them to six months "hard marriage." What follows is an all-out ...more
“You’re falling for your wife! You idiot!”
I’ll have to admit that when this title plopped down on ye olde reviewing desk, one glance at Ashton Kutcher and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to watching it. A second glance reveled Cameron Diaz so I suppose there was a 50/50 chance. I must be an old softie because I ended up liking the film.
Ordered stockbroker Joy (Cameron Diaz) is dumped by her boyfriend Mason (Jason Sudeikis), rather embarrassingly during his surprise birthday party. Disordered carpenter Jack (Ashton Kutcher) is fired from his job at the family business by his father (Treat Williams) no less – ouch!
The two independently decide that the best way to drown their troubles is to go to Vegas, along with their pals. Jack takes Hater (Rob Corddry) and Joy takes Tipper (Lake Bell). The two "couples" meet on the strip and after a night of drunken carousing and Jack and Joy awaken to discover that they’ve hooked up. That’s okay though because they’ve done it the biblical way and gotten married first, which is even more shocking to both of them.
When they sober up, they decide to go and get an annulment, but have an argument in front of a slot machine. Jack spends Joy’s last quarter and hits the 3 million dollar jackpot. Now new arguments begin as to whose money it is. The argument cumulates in a courtroom under the stone-faced Judge Whopper (Dennis Miller) who sentences the pair to six months of “hard marriage” and at the end of that the money will be split up.
Any trouble before that and the judge will tie the cash up in litigation till they’re both old and gray. Joy moves into Jack’s filthy apartment and the battle of wills begins to find a way to get the other party to default.
I’ll have to admit that Ashton Kutcher’s grinning visage immediately put me off of the film and I really wasn’t looking forward to watching it. Sure, there was the very hot Cameron Diaz to take the curse off, but I still wasn’t looking forward to it. I’m probably about to lose my critics license in the comparison, but in the end the film reminded me of a 1940s screwball comedy (sorta) and I ended up liking the film very much.
I guess I wasn’t the only one since the modestly (by Hollywood standards) budgeted 35 million dollar flick went on to earn at least three times its production costs.
Ashton starts off as his usual man-child self, but I hate to admit it actually started to grow on me by the end. The film does have the basic screwball comedy base as two characters that hate each other are thrown together by chance and end up falling in love. Diaz is probably closer to Claudette Colbert than Kutcher is to Clark Gable.
I found the film a light snack, but a charming one at that. Obviously, opinions may very (I note my colleague roasted it) and the plot has been around before the 40s, but it played upon my emotions (a little) and I have a good feeling when the credits rolled. Though some credit goofball scenes tends to take a little of that nice feeling off even if they’re funny.
What Happens in Vegas is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (2.35:1). Special features include a commentary by director Tom Vaughan and editor Matt Friedman. There’s also a drinking game called “Bottoms Up!” that unspools during the film. Of course, they admonish us to drink responsibly, but aren’t the points of drinking games to get sloshed and not really responsively?
Let me start with the only special feature presented in standard definition, the 1 minute look at Fox’s Marley and Me, and the rest are in high definition. Next is the 5-minute gag reel and 8 minutes of deleted and extended scenes. The 2-minute “From the Law Firm of Stephen J. Hader, Esq.” is an amusing parody commercial for Hater (as it’s spelled in the end of the commercial and in the film’s subtitles – so who knows that’s true, that’s lawyers for ya).
The 8-minute “DVD Extra Time with Zach Galifianakis, which is a comedic interview of director Vaughan by the comedian. The 8 minute “Sitting down with Cameron and Ashton” is an interview with the two set on the Vegas strip. There’s also a graphic of a trio of balls, the sports kind not the human kind (three would be creepy on that count), that accesses a 1 minute compilation of some alternative lines to a line at the surprise party that the production thought would affect their PG-13 rating so many other alternatives were recorded.
A second disc has a digital copy that you can download to your PC or portable device.
I guess I was just in a mood for a snack as I found What Happens in Vegas to be something that hit the spot. Sure, I was probably hungry and hour later and may have to pull out Citizen Kane, but I liked the movie. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.