What Happens in Vegas

By Gerald Aaron, May 8, 2008
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(12A)

What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, as the saying goes. Not for Jack (Ashton Kutcher) and Joy (Cameron Diaz) in this entertaining screwball comedy, cunningly created with younger multiplex filmgoers in mind.

The couple — he’s a slacker, she’s “awfully hostile for a girl named Joy”, as someone remarks sagely — meet in the Nevada gambling capital where Joy is drowning her sorrows having been dumped by her boyfriend. They drink to excess, marry in haste and then win a fortune.

But the cold truths revealed by sobriety do not prove to be grounds for an annulment, and the situation is amusingly complicated by a judge who sentences them to continue their marriage for six months before he will consider ending it and rule on who will walk off with the winnings.

Obviously only movie virgins could fail to foresee the dénouement as Jack and Joy continue to spar in close discomfort in their shared apartment.

Happily, foreknowledge of the finale does not matter. The leads are attractive and screenwriter Dana Fox’s dialogue sparkles with snappy lines.

Kutcher and Diaz clearly enjoy their blithe sparring and infectiously transmit that enjoyment to the audience, while director Tom Vaughan keeps the battle-of-the-sexes comedy light and satisfying.

    Last updated: 2:59pm, February 18 2011