“What Happens In Vegas” – Joanna Langfield reviews
For a standard rom-com, this pretty package sneaks in a few surprises. Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher play the mismatched couple who “meet cute” on a drunken rebound night in Las Vegas. Their intentions for a quickie divorce are squashed when, after hitting in big in a slot machine, a judge forces a six month trial marriage, millions to be divided only after the two strangers at least give their relationship an earnest try.
I suppose there could be moral cries of outrage even over the premise here. Wild, quicky, alcohol induced legal hookups? But isn’t this the stuff of decades of plot set-ups, including that of Friends Ross and Rachel who did the same thing on the public airwaves at family viewing hour? So, getting over this potential obstacle, the rest of the proceedings here are relatively tame. Yes, the obviously attracted couple lives together but he’s on the couch. And even when temptation comes their way, neither strays from their court appointed monogamy.
Director Tom Vaughn has enhanced the proceedings with a nice supporting cast, including, as the wacky best friends, Lake Bell and Rob Corddry. And while Dana Fox’s screenplay has its holes, she also takes pains to add the neat twist of having the female as the type A achiever, driven by the potential of a big promotion on Wall Street.
What makes what happens work, though, is the complete charm of its two stars. We’ve seen Cameron Diaz do most of what she does here before, but who can’t enjoy this sleek comedienne again and again? Ashton Kutcher, on the other hand, actually gets to do some real acting, in between the obligatory slacker scenes, and his natural ease and peeks of vulnerability makes his not-so-great-catch impossible to resist.