Rating: 2 stars
It’s hard to muster up a whole lot of enthusiasm for What Happens in Vegas. After all, any film about the battle of the sexes that breaks out the old “why must guys leave the toilet seat up?” chestnut (more than once no less) is inherently lazy. Why should I care when the filmmakers don’t?
Indeed, What Happens in Vegas is so by the book, it could practically have been generated by one of those screenwriting software programs. Come to think of it, they pretty much made this movie already—it was called How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Oh, and then they made it again—it was called The Break-up.
Here’s the premise: Jack (Ashton Kutcher) is such a slacker, he’s been fired from his job as a furniture maker by his own father. Overachieving Joy (Cameron Diaz) was just dumped by her fussy boyfriend. Both attempt to drown their sorrows in Vegas.
After a drunken night of debauchery that ends up with them in bed and married, Jack uses Joy’s quarter to play the slots and wins $3 million. A judge (Dennis Miller) freezes the winnings and tells the unhappy couple he won’t make any ruling until they try to make their marriage work. Both decide if they can get the other to voluntarily leave the marriage, they’ll collect all the loot.
What follows, of course, is a nasty game of sabotage (not too nasty, though, the film is too meek for that) that will end—shockingly—with Jack and Joy realizing they’re perfect for each other. Credit must go to the two leads—both easy on the eyes and possessing legitimate comic chops—for making the film at least somewhat tolerable. But Desk Set it ain’t. Just once, I’d like to see a rom-com where the guy is an uptight neatnik and it’s the girl who is sloppy, carefree, and just wants to have fun. But, of course, that would require a fresh take, some creativity—I’m not sure if the ScriptPro2000 could handle it.