Review: What Happens in Vegas… (2008)

Directed by: Tom Vaughan | 99 minutes | comedy, romance | Actors: Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Krysten Ritter, Lake Bell, Dennis Farina, Zach Galifianakis, Rob Corddry, Michelle Krusiec, Jason Sudeikis, Dennis Miller, Delia Sheppard, Maddie Corman, Kimberly Dorsey, Michael Harkins, Blake Young Fountain, Cassidy Gard, Cheryl Cosenza, Ben Best, Matthew Martini, Russ Russo, Steve Sirkis, Deirdre O’Connell, Lauren Reeves, Brian M. Wixson, Eric Zuckerman, Meagan Gordon, Caroline Willman, Benita Robledo, Tom Stratford, Debargo Sanyal , Junes B. Zahdi, Joe Mancini, Ricky Garcia, Bob Pepper, Tyler Barnes, Adam Zuniga, Adam Sansiveri, Clem Cheung, Christopher Negrin, Jeremy Redleaf, Heather Kristin, Adam Goodnoff-Cernese, Billy Eichner, Charles Pendleton, Arlo Hemphill

According to the standard formula, a well-known story unravels about a boy and a girl who fall in love with each other “against will and thanks”. The right strings are hit the right way. Important for the working of this formula: the postponement of the climax, in the form of the ‘real’ kiss or a real marriage and a lot of humor-filled resistance from the main characters, while of course we have known for a long time that it will be okay, just not how. Also not unimportant, the minor characters, of course in the form of the girl’s best friend and the boy’s best friend, who passionately support and defend their party and hate each other, or would they too…? You do not know!

Purebred horses in the lighter genre and darlings of the Hollywood mattress Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher have been hired in this love vehicle to laugh and finally shed a tear in a sigh of relief. But it must be said, they live up to their status as delicious animals and popular A-actors again, there is nothing wrong with that. They also get along well, which is of course important for a romantic comedy and the two main supporting roles are also well cast in the form of Lake Bell and Rob Corddry, who, as bad advisers, make a nice contribution to the humor bag. A small downside for us Dutch and many other Europeans: those Americans have a thing for Las Vegas, there it happens, you can act crazy there, you go crazy there, the title also refers to that: what happens there is wild and there you shouldn’t talk about it further. Although in the south of the Netherlands this feeling is recognized in the celebration of carnival, where one can also pinch the buttocks of others ‘anonymously’ for a few days, for the rest of the Netherlands it is less desirable and therefore less recognizable, at least in that shape then. Many experience Vegas much more as a super bourgeois and crass gambling paradise for stupid people. Luckily, that whole Vegas thing is just the starting point of a story that’s otherwise pretty universal.

Tom Vaughn’s first major Hollywood feature film won’t go down in history as the greatest movie ever, let alone the most original, but he delivers a nice romantic comedy with “What Happens in Vegas”. So no surprises, but good acting and a pleasant chemistry between the main characters. No noteworthy gaps in the script, other than that Jack seems to have plenty of money while he is unemployed and undoubtedly has no savings account. Furthermore, we see everything coming from miles away, of course, but the road to the denouement is right and is pleasant and relaxed, just not too relaxed and larded with a number of fun jokes. Great entertainment and then quickly forgotten.

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