The Source for Parents

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

What Happens in Vegas (8/26/2008)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual and crude content, and language, including a drug reference.

Directed by Tom Vaughan (Starter for 10)

Starring Ashton Kutcher, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry, Lake Bell, Dennis Farina, and Treat Williams

Todd's Rating: Skip it

I wish this movie would have stayed in Vegas.

Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher star as strangers who wake up a married couple after a crazy night in Las Vegas. Joy (Cameron Diaz) is the type of woman who makes plans to make plans. She's expecting a marriage proposal, but her live-in boyfriend, Mason (Jason Sudeikis), has other ideas. When he dumps her, Joy heads to Vegas to forget her troubles with her friend Tipper (Lake Bell) and discovers her fun, spontaneous side. Unfortunately, she also wakes up with recently unemployed Jack (Ashton Kutcher) who along with best friend head to Vegas to forget about life for awhile. The two quickly decide to divorce, but the plot thickens when Jack wins $3 million from a slot machine using Joy's quarter. Since neither one of them wants to give up the cash, they try to file for divorce. But the judge (Dennis Miller) orders them to spend six months together before he will split the money or them. So they each try to drive the other crazy until they fall in love (bet you didn’t see that coming).

There is nothing else new or unexpected in the rest of the movie either. The films moves from one cliché to another and then a foul joke is inserted; the same is repeated for 99 minutes. Oh wait…there are a few times when the movie tries to be sincere, at least I think it was trying for sincere. Honestly it was some of those moments that got the biggest laughs from me. Like when Jack says, “You bet on me…and you made me want to bet on myself.”

The cast is really not great either. In fact, I’m having a hard time calling Ashton Kutcher an actor. I mean we have not seen a new role for him…ever. Not to mention the fact that Cameron Diaz overacts in just about every scene. Dennis Miller is really the only bright spot. Not just because he is great as the judge, but because of what he says. As he is speaking to Joy and Jack, he says, “Its not the gays ruining marriage, it’s you people.” And one of my favorite lines “...Listen, I've been married for twenty five years to the same wonderful, infuriating woman. And granted there are days when I want to light her on fire but I don't, because I love her. And that would be illegal. And you know something, and I might be old fashioned but when I said those vows, I meant them.” It would be nice to see more of that in movies…the vows part, not lighting spouses on fire.

So if I have to come right out and say it I will, “Skip It.”

This is a typical PG-13 movie that has way too many adult-themed messages, lines and scenes, so my answer is no.

Side Note:
As said above, we don't recommend your kids see this film. But on the occasion that they actually have already seen it, you may want to dialogue about the film with them. These questions below may be a help to you.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?

  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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