What You Need To Know:
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS has many funny moments. The actors do great, and the plot structure is classical Hollywood. There are some profound biblical themes about marriage, commitment and male/female relationships. For example, the movie’s premise echoes the biblical view that, in a good marriage, the woman gives the man special qualities that he needs and vice versa. Together, they become one. Even so, the movie’s worldview remains somewhat pagan, with plenty of foul language and crude references. Thus, the negative content in WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS warrants extreme caution.
(PaPa, B, Ro, Ho, PC, LLL, V, S, N, AA, MM) Strong general pagan worldview with some light moral comments about marriage, commitment, personal integrity, and love as well as some Romantic attitudes (in the philosophical sense) about following your dreams and a Romantic attitude toward homosexuality that includes a few jokes and a politically correct comment form an authority figure about young heterosexuals messing up the sanctity of marriage rather than homosexuals; about 16 obscenities, two strong profanities, 20 light profanities, two or three “f” words bleeped during song over end credits, and other strong crude references, some sexual and some scatological; light comic violence includes some hitting, slapping and pratfalls; implied fornication in one scene, woman lives with her fiancé before he dumps her suddenly, implied sex after a quickie marriage, and some other crude and not-so-crude sexual references; upper male nudity, female cleavage, unclear image of woman taking a shower behind a door, and women in underwear or skimpy outfits; alcohol use and drunkenness; no smoking or drugs; and, gambling, greed, devious shenanigans, man goofs off at work, man’s troubled relationship with father is healed, and couple tries to cheat one another out of $3 million.
Jungian psychology uses two terms to describe the male/female relationship – anima and animus. The anima is the feminine side, and the animus is the masculine side. Men and women who successfully relate to each other are men and women who can embrace the female and masculine other. Carl Jung, the troubled founder of Jungian psychology, borrowed some of these concepts from the Bible’s description of male/female relationships, either consciously or unconsciously (probably a little bit of both). In the Book of Genesis, for example, God teaches us that, in marriage, the woman complements the man and vice versa. Thus, together, they become one.
These principles are perfectly suited to the Hollywood genre of romantic comedy, where the battle between the sexes gets resolved when the two lovers finally realize, usually after great comical chaos, that the personality conflicts between them can work together to form a more perfect whole.
In that sense, the new romantic comedy WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS is a good example of the archetypal romantic comedy.
In the story, charismatic party guy Jack, played by Ashton Kutcher, gets fired by his father after Jack goofs off one time too many at his dad’s building company. At the same time, a strait-laced commodities trader named Joy, played by Cameron Diaz, gets dumped by her fiancé. Both Jack and Joy are convinced by their two friends, Steve and Tipper, to put away their troubles and go to Las Vegas.
A mix-up at their Vegas hotel throws the four people together. Jack challenges Joy to loosen up and have a drink with him and his buddy. They drag an unwilling Tipper along. The drinks soon loosen up both their tongues, and Jack and Joy realize that they really enjoy talking with one another. More drinks follow, however, and a drunken Joy and Jack end up married the next morning.
At the slot machine Joy was playing, Jack and Joy decide that they had better get an annulment. Jack nonchalantly puts one of Joy’s coins into the slot machine and hits the $3 million jackpot. Both end up back in New York in divorce court over the money, but their lazy attitude toward marriage angers the judge. He orders them to live together for six months and go to marriage counseling. A comical battle of wills ensues between Jack and Joy, egged on by their two battling friends.
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS has many funny scenes and dialogue. The actors do a great job, and the plot structure is classical Hollywood. There are even some profound biblical themes about marriage, commitment and male/female relationships. Even so, the movie’s worldview remains somewhat pagan, with plenty of foul language and crude references. Thus, the negative content in WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS warrants an extreme caution.