What Happens in Vegas


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

A buttoned-up stockbroker gets dumped by her high-powered boyfriend. Across town, apparently in another movie, a slacker gets fired by his own dad. What do these characters have in common? Nothing, except that they both decide that Vegas  is the cure for what ails them. While in Sin City, they meet, hook-up, get married in a drunken haze, and regret it when they wake up in the morning. No problem, except that before they can get an annulment, they end up winning a three million dollar jackpot, and their marriage makes the money community property.

"That's not a premise for a film," you're thinking. "Let them split the money down the middle, after subtracting nine bucks to refund my ticket."

You're right - up to a point - but the next development is a high concept premise that creates a movie (sort of): a weird judge decides that neither of them will get a penny unless they try six months of marriage, so they have to learn how to be better human beings ... and maybe, eventually, they will really fall in love.

Gee, d'ya think?

It's a formulaic romantic comedy. Boy meets girl, loses girl, goes through period of extreme stress, gets girl back, as well as his own soul. Everything transpires in front of wisecracking sidekicks. It's your basic Rob Lowe / Demi Moore movie from 1986 with a few twists and a younger cast. The Demi Moore connection is intact, however, since the male lead is none other than Ms. Moore's boy-toy husband, Ashton Kutcher. Cameron Diaz plays Demi's role, while the Jim Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins roles are played by Rob Corddry and a certain Lake Bell, who is apparently a female person and not a body of water.

You can measure the film fairly accurately by the difference between the IMDb score and the Yahoo score. The IMDb film snobs treated it with contempt, but the average Joes at Yahoo scored it a B.

As I se it, "Vegas" is not especially better or worse than the usual Hollywood mainstream rom-com fluff. In fact, it's probably a cut above the usual  McConaughey/Hudson material. The film's great weakness is that the comical sidekicks are not quite comical enough. OK. I admit it, I actually like James Belushi's "regular Chicago guy" character, and I think Belushi does the sardonic sidekick better than Rob Corddry. Of course, that's faint praise. John Ashcroft is probably a funnier sidekick than Corddry. The movie is not helped by the fact that Ashton Kutcher still needs those acting lessons which Cameron Crowe once offered him, but the audience comes to like and root for the main characters, and cheers for them to get together, so that makes the film work on its own terms.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:



Not yet available.







1 The Guardian (of 5 stars)
2.5 James Berardinelli (of 4 stars)
2 BBC  (of 5 stars)
27 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
36 Metacritic.com (of 100)


5.0 IMDB summary (of 10)
B Yahoo Movies


Box Office Mojo. A mini-hit. It was budgeted at $35 million for production, and the distribution/advertising costs are estimated around $30 million. It will make a lot of money even before home media. It opened with a $20 million weekend and held up well. It will finish over $70 million.



  • None. Cameron Diaz showers behind frosted glass. In another scene, she has her back to the camera while she wears skimpy underpants, thus exposing the bottom of her bottom.


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