As tepid romantic comedies go, this one should have stayed in Vegas.
Joy McNally (Cameron Diaz) is an insecure Manhattan commodities trader who was just publicly dumped by her fiancé (Jason Sudeikis). New Yorker slacker Jack Fuller (Ashton Kutcher) was recently fired by his father (Treat Williams) from a furniture-manufacturing job. Along with their respective pals (Lake Bell, Rob Corddry), they meet in Sin City and party hearty one night. The next morning, they wake up hung over – and married. Bickering immediately, they have no intention of staying together but Jack takes a quarter from Joy to put in slot machine and wins three million dollars – which they both claim. Seeking an annulment back in the Big Apple, a cranky judge (Dennis Miller) refuses to resolve the jackpot dispute. Instead, he insists that they try for six months to make their mismatched union work, meeting regularly with a therapist (Queen Latifah). So neatnik Joy moves into sloppy Jack’s apartment and open warfare is declared. In the meantime, Jack charms Joy’s boss (Dennis Farina) while Joy endears herself to Jack’s family.
While any sane couple would simply split the windfall and be thankful for $1.5 million, screenwriter Dana Fox and British director Tom Vaughan struggle with the implausible concept that both Joy and Jack are so selfish and mean-spirited that they’re ready to endure any number of indignities to battle it out. To the victor belong the spoils, etc.
Cameron Diaz is many things – but believable as a stockbroker isn’t one of them. And snarky Ashton Kutcher pushes the charm button too hard. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “What Happens in Vegas” is a flimsy, forgettable 4. Too bad they forgot to pack the fun.