In What Happens in Vegas a young successful woman marries an unemployed guy after a night of drinking. No, it’s not the Britney Spears story, it’s a new romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher.
The premise is right out of Rom Com 101. Kutcher is Jack, a good looking womanizer who can’t hold down a job. Diaz is the beautiful but controlling Joy. In other words they are stereotypes: he’s a slob; she’s a controlling harridan. One drunken night they hook up in Vegas, and despite their differences they wind up getting hitched. In the cold light of day they both realize they don’t really like one another and need to get an annulment, pronto. That is until Kutcher puts her quarter in a slot machine and wins three million dollars. Her quarter, his pull. Back home a judge (Dennis Miller) rules that neither gets a dime of the cash or an annulment unless they try and make their marriage work for six months. Wacky hi-jinks ensue.
Anyone who’s read the Rom Com Handbook knows it’s only a matter of time until the best friend says, “Oh my God, you’re falling for her…” and we discover, once and for all, that opposites truly do attract.
What Happens in Vegas has four solid laughs and 95 minutes of clichés provided by a script that appears to have been written by the Rom Com Automatic Script Generator. It plays to the worst kind of stereotypes, the type of gender humor that should have gone out with Lucy and Desi. Worse than the old fashioned “men and women cannot coexist” approach is an painfully unfunny scene makes fun of domestic abuse.
Diaz and Kutcher, both romantic comedy veterans, are the above the title stars but it is the supporting cast that squeezes the laughs out of this battle of sexes material. Rob Corddry and Lake Bell are the best friends—known in the Rom Com Handbook as “wacky sidekicks”—and have all the best lines. Bell has the same kind of appeal as her co-star Cameron Diaz showed in There’s Something About Mary—she’s beautiful and goofy—and it’s the first time Corddry, who was always so great on The Daily Show, has been funny in a movie. He can take a throw away line like, “She’s awfully hostile for a girl named Joy,” and turn it into one of the funniest things in the whole movie.
The famous Vegas tourist board slogan should be the headline for this review: What Happens in Vegas, despite two funny supporting performances, really should have stayed in Vegas.