A Wonky Comedy of Errors is Delivered by Vacation Friends It’s perfect for the decade of the 2000s.
Vacation Friends, directed by Clay Tarver, has a wild, early-aughts flavour to it with its drug-fueled comedy escapades and ‘friendly’ misunderstandings.
Clay Tarver, best known for his work on Silicon Valley, brings the same crazy energy and ensemble-driven shenanigans to his feature picture debut Vacation Friends.
Initial Release Date: 27 August 2021
Director: Clay Tarver
Writers: Tom Mullen, Tim Mullen, Clay Tarver
Producers: Todd Garner, Timothy M. Bourne
Screenplay: Clay Tarver, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Production: 20th Century Studios; Broken Road Productions
- John Cena as Ron
- Robert Wisdom as Harold
- Meredith Hagner as Kyla
- Lil Rel Howery as Marcus
- Barry Rothbart as Darren
- Yvonne Orji as Emily
- Andrew Bachelor as Gabe
- Lynn Whitfield as Suzanne
- Anna Maria Horsford as Nancy
- Tawny Newsome as Brooke
- Kamal Bolden as Bennet
The film, centres on a realistic and promising concept: what if the buddies you made on that wild trip tried to push their way into your everyday life — or, worse, your wedding?
Vacation Friends isn’t out to surprise anyone, channelling the drug-and-alcohol-fueled bravado of The Hangover. It is quite aware of the type of film it is.
It’s simple to follow and laugh along with, and it takes you on a smooth trip to a satisfying conclusion.
It’ll certainly satisfy those desiring a Mexican vacation or an escape from the grim reality of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, bringing vicarious bliss with each tequila shot.
Marcus (Lil Rey Howery) and Emily (Yvonne Orji) are a tense couple who arrive in Mexico only to discover that their hotel apartment has been flooded by someone else’s jacuzzi.
The perpetrators are soon revealed to be Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner), who are so horrified by the incident that they offer Emily and Marcus to stay with them in their suite instead.
Vacation Friends (2021) Movie Trailers
After Marcus inadvertently drinks a cocaine-laced margarita, he and Emily decide to throw caution to the wind and basically say yes to whatever — and there are a lot of them, believe me — dubious gameplans Ron and Kyla devise for them.
The film’s invitation for Ron and Kyla’s characters to conceive up even more wild schemes is what works best about this notion.
While Vacation Friends’ shenanigans could have been a little more daring, there’s enough adventure to make the ride worthwhile.
In reality, the movie mainly utilises the vacation to set the stage for the more ambitious task of watching what occurs when Ron and Kyla crash Marcus and Emily’s wedding, which is filled with enough humour to compensate for the lack of outrageous action.
Although the film appears to be about two couples, it is actually about Ron and Marcus’ true and challenging friendship.
Those expecting more depth to Emily and Kyla’s friendship will be disappointed. Their connection appears to be lengthening its legs on-screen, but Ron and Marcus’ friendship is sprinting ahead.
Cena relishes his part as the tough-looking guy with a lot of feels, and he confidently lands his awkward comic moments.
In addition, when it’s revealed why he’s so attached with Marcus in Vacation Friends’ second act, he offers a comforting and straight-faced honesty.
It’s a joy to see Lil Rey Howery in his part as the ever-cautious and uneasy Marcus around Ron.
The duo’s comedic timing showcases Howery’s standup skills, demonstrating how he understands when to pause and take a breather before launching into the next loud laugh.
Of all, if it weren’t for their starring ladies, the males in this picture would be lost. Orji’s deft, well-timed head tilts and emotional genuineness balance out Howery’s concerns, preventing him from becoming tiring.
Cena’s mind is clearly in the game thanks to Hagner’s limitless energy, which inspires the same magical endurance as Kristin Chenoweth.
Having said that, the film is framed around a dubious decision. Without giving anything away about Marcus and Emily’s raunchy vacation, there are some unintentional cringe moments that feel like they belong in the early-aughts period of tone-deaf comedy.
Unfortunately, this makes the second portion of the film a little difficult to stomach, as the subject matter feels a little too serious for such a light and breezy comedy.
The picture would be a lot more successful if it was redone to be a little clearer from a moral aspect, or if it was completely removed.
Instead, it treads a tight line with sexually charged gags that would be more at home in Seth Rogen’s world, where the audience understands and expects that any joke is fair game.
Overall, Vacation Friends lives up to its promise of delivering exactly what you’d expect from a film of this genre.
It’s also reassuring to know this, because situational comedies with happy endings are becoming harder to come by these days.
Set your eyes on Vacation Friends if you need a break from, well, everything, and leave the comedy to the professionals.
Vacation Friends is now available to watch on Hulu.