What Happens In Vegas

What Happens In Vegas


Reviewed by: Val Kermode

Where were you happiest? Be careful how you answer. It can be an instantly recognisable landmark, say the top of the Empire State Building, or somewhere quirkily picturesque, like an empty stretch of beach with a lighthouse. You can’t just pick the inside of a pub or a maternity ward. The only reason anyone ever asks this question in a romcom is so that when everything goes wrong and you run away and your lover realises that he has been a blind fool and he really loved you all along, he can come running to find you, and you will be there.

I hope you didn’t choose anywhere too remote. He doesn’t want to be looking up long haul flights. But don’t make it too easy either. A beach on an island is good, because then he can take several modes of transport before that climactic moment when you rush into each other’s arms.

Copy picture

Such are the thoughts that occupy those idle moments during romcoms - but, actually, this one doesn’t have too many of them. Director Tom Vaughan keeps up a good pace, there’s some snappy editing and strong performances from the two leads, Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher. If you care about the storyline, Jack (Kutcher) has just been fired from his job by his father for being a slacker and Joy (Diaz) has just been rather publicly dumped by her fiance for being - er - too exciting. Each of them decides that the best place to get over it would be Vegas, so off they go, each with a not-so-good-looking best friend in tow. They all end up together when they are accidentally booked into the same room, then given penthouse suites by way of compensation. (I know.)

The next morning Joy and Jack wake up to find that sometime during their wild night on the town they got married. They both agree that this was a mistake but, just as they are about to part amicably, they win a three million dollar jackpot on a fruit machine. It was Joy’s quarter, but Jack put it in the machine, so who would have the money if they divorce?

They go to argue their case in court, and the judge decides that neither of them should have the money until they have tried to make their marriage work. Each best friend encourages them to cheat their way to the money, but of course during the process they find themselves falling in love for real.

All quite predictable, but glossily done. And in some of my favourite locations. I was pleased to find that What Happens in Vegas mostly happens in New York. Though Vegas looks good, too. There’s good support from Rob Corddry and Lake Bell as the best friends. I loved the way she used her mobile phone as a weapon, and I must try making his beer smoothie.

Give it a try, the smoothie and the film. You could do a lot worse.

Reviewed on: 06 May 2008
Share this with others on...
What Happens In Vegas packshot
Two people wake up in Las Vegas to discover they got married while they were drunk.
Amazon link

Director: Tom Vaughan

Writer: Dana Fox

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Rob Corddry, Lake Bell, Jason Sudeikis, Treat Williams, Deirdre O'Connell, Michelle Krusiec

Year: 2008

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


Search database:

If you like this, try:

Intolerable Cruelty