The hook selling this film is 'Vince Vaughn comedy' but given his most recent comic releases, 'Four Christmases' and 'Fred Claus', this should be a warning in itself. 'Couple's Retreat' is a date movie by numbers where a group of A-listers are cast opposite each other in what is pitched as a romantic comedy. However, it is exactly this type of release that gives the genre a bad name.

If you take four American couples, each facing tough life choices and situations, what are the odds of them all falling madly deeply in love again within a week? That's the film's clichéd premise. This is not ruining the plot; you'll get that from the poster, if not the title.

Given the fact that the current divorce rate Stateside averages at around 40%, it's safe to say that realism is not a key feature of Favreau and Vaughn's script. With Favreau having written 'Swingers' and Vaughn having starred in it, the duo should be hanging their heads when, 13 years of experience later, this is what they bring to the table.

The gags are juvenile, the characters are superficial, the plot is paper thin and it's almost two hours too long.

'Wedding Crashers', 'Anchorman' and 'Dodgeball' prove that Vaughn has the comedy goods, decent script willing. While Favreau's acting and directing skills ('Iron Man' and is in post-production on 'Iron Man 2') have delivered time and time again too, this second feature by director Peter Billingsley will not be joining their classic best.

The one danger, other than wasting your time and money, in choosing this as your date movie is that it might be your last.

Taragh Loughrey-Grant

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