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Over the top actors make 'Vegas' romantic comedy good

What Happens in Vegas


Movie: NNN 1/2 (out of 5 stars)

DVD Experience: NNN 1/2 (out of 5 stars)


Cameron Diaz as Joy McNally

Ashton Kutcher as Jack Fuller

Rob Corddry as Hater

Lake Bell as Tipper

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Directed by: Tom Vaughan

I like a good romantic comedy, and too often Hollywood just throws the formula together and forgets the "good" part.

Recently, things have been hit-and-miss. So, when "What Happens in Vegas" opened this summer, I was dreading a repeat of that whole "Made of Honor" debacle.

Fortunately, with likeable actors like Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz who aren't afraid to go over the top for comedy, "What Happens in Vegas" turned into a pretty good film.

The story follows a slacker named Jack (Ashton Kutcher) and an uptight stock broker named Joy (Cameron Diaz) who meet up during a weekend in Las Vegas, then get married on a whim. Right after they plan on getting a divorce, they hit a $3 million jackpot on a slot machine. In order to take home the money, a judge makes them live together as a married couple for six months.

The core of this film -- and arguably almost any film -- is its cast. Both Kutcher and Diaz, who are two of the beautiful people, have pretty good chemistry. They work well together, and they will be as silly or as crazy as they need to.

Even more, the performances of the supporting cast is where the real magic happens. Rob Corddry and Lake Bell play Jack and Joy's best friends, and ultimately they are funnier than the stars. If the movie were about these two, this might have made my best-of-the-year pick. Other great bit part cast members include Dennis Miller as the snarky judge and Zach Galifianakis as one of Jack's other friends.

The DVD comes in a very basic model and the "Extended Jackpot Edition." The special edition comes with a digital copy disc, which I haven't been able to figure the value add for this. Unless you watch movies exclusively on your iPod, being able to download it to a laptop is somewhat superfluous. After all, don't most laptops come with a DVD drive?

Often, offering an extended edition on DVD helps sell a disc, and in this case it might. The extended scenes aren't a lot to write home about, and you can hear the director and editor point them out while watching the commentary track. In general, the special features on the "What Happens in Vegas" DVD work very well. Like the movie itself, the pieces not featuring Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz are the best.

Kutcher and Diaz spend about ten minutes in a Vegas hotel room talking about random topics -- from the movie's production to the gender etiquette for hooking up. The better parts come with other features, include Zach Galifianakis' uncomfortable interview with the director and a lawyer commercial from Rob Corddry's character.

Other features include a gag reel and several deleted scenes.

Kevin Carr is an independent writer, journalist and filmmaker who lives in Columbus, Ohio.