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COUPLES RETREAT

About The Production
In 1996, Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau came onto Hollywood's radar with the comedy Swingers. The film, written by Favreau, depicted the lives of two unemployed actors trying to score with the ladies and make it big in L.A. It became an instant classic, launching both men's careers…and serving as the unlikely beginning for Couples Retreat. In 2007, the much-loved and often-quoted movie won the Guy Movie Hall of Fame Award at Spike TV's Guys Choice Awards. Following the taping of the show, Vaughn and Favreau revisited one of their film's haunts, The Dresden Room, to celebrate. There, Vaughn pitched Favreau the concept for Couples Retreat.

"I had this idea about a group of friends who are married and having typical relationship problems, with some being more extreme than others,” says Vaughn. "One of them was the catalyst who tells the others, ‘I found this place that is the Mecca for all things for couples.' He needs his friends to go because the only way he and his wife can afford it is with the less expensive group rate. The other couples think it will be a great vacation, but when they get there they realize they must participate in all of the couples therapy exercises. The fun is in seeing all of their relationships put under a microscope.

"I had wanted to take normal people with everyday problems and put them in an exceptional setting,” continues Vaughn. "The story had to be relatable so audiences would see a bit of themselves in one of the four couples…and have some laughs at the situations and obstacles they face and must work through. I also wanted the script to have hope and wish fulfillment. Even though things can be trying, it's better to love and work on the relationship than not to have it at all.”

Favreau was open to teaming with his longtime friend. "Vince approached me with the idea of collaborating together again for the first time in many years,” he says. "And when he pitched me the idea for Couples Retreat, I thought the concept was compelling.”

Vaughn also reached out to Scott Stuber, the producing partner with whom Vaughn had collaborated on the 2006 anti-romantic comedy and blockbuster hit The Break-Up, about reteaming on this film. "Vince and I always talk about new ideas to do together. When he told me about the concept for Couples Retreat, I thought it was a great way to explore relationships through a big comedic idea,” says Stuber.

Once Favreau agreed to write the screenplay with Vaughn and fellow comedy writer Dana Fox, the collaborators begin fleshing out a story. They focused on four Midwestern couples—the seemingly perfect couple Dave & Ronnie, the overly analytical Jason & Cynthia, the ready-to-split Joey & Lucy and the recently separated Shane & his 20-year-old girlfriend Trudy—whose relationships are put to the test at the resort.

For Favreau, the premise of the film was one he could relate to; this would be his most personal film since Swingers. "I have experienced marriage and having small children, and there's a lot of humor in it. It's something I hadn't explored yet.”

Stuber adds: "What I loved about the script was that it explored human behavior and relationships, and there was real hope and joy to it. I knew it would also be great to make this film with a group of us who are all friends. The more you can make films with people you share common sensibilities with, the more you want to keep replicating that experience.”

Vaughn's search for a director began and ended with Peter Billingsley, who makes his directorial debut with Couples Retreat. Billingsley had an accomplished body of work as a producer, including production partnerships with Vaughn on Made, The Break- Up and Four Christmases, and with Favreau on

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