What Happens in Vegas: A Marriage?

March 10, 2010 | NeW Staff

Girls’ night this week in apartment 31o1 consisted of What Happens in Vegas starring Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz.  Both Jack (Kutcher) who had just been fired from his job and Joy (Diaz) who had just been dumped set off to Las Vegas in an attempt to escape their troubles.  Meet each other and end up getting married after one crazy night.  The next morning, while fighting, Jack pulls the lever of a slot machine and wins $3 million.  They get back to New York and want a divorce hoping to split the $3 million.  The judge freezes the money and orders Jack and Joy to try to make their marriage work for 6 months until they can work it out.

Despite the fact that Jack and Joy get married while intoxicated, this movie paints men and women in a positive light.  There are times when there are cheap jokes made at the extent of a gender stereotype, but there is no denying the difference between men and women. The basis of the conflict during the 6 months of married life that Jack and Joy must maintain comes from gender differences.  

What Happens in Vegas is almost entirely about marriage.  When Jack and Joy are in Vegas arguing just before they win the $3 million, he says that “Marriages are an outdated concept.”  Really, that is the struggle throughout the whole movie.  Is marriage even worth it?   What are the benefits?  So when the judge, played by Dennis Miller, hears their case he says, “. . .Marriage is about love and commitment.  Listen, I have been married for 25 years to the same wonderful, infuriating woman.  Granted, there are days I want to light her on fire, but I don’t because I love her and that would be illegal.  And you know something, when I said those vows out loud, I meant them.  Before, or should I say if, I ever allow either of you out of this marriage I am going to make you try everything, I do mean everything, to make it work.”  

There was such an emphasis on working through the marital problems to get to the core of what marriage means.  I think that What Happens in Vegas is a pro-marriage and pro-gender differences movie.  The movie says that marriage isn’t easy, but that when things begin to be difficult, do not stop fighting for it.  Make it work.
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