If you are looking for a feel-good romantic comedy that’s connected to Las Vegas and gambling, you don’t need to look any further than What Happens in Vegas (2008). The movie stars Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher as the couple who gets together due to extraordinary circumstances but ends up falling in love. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve missed out on an hour and a half of good, clean fun. The direction in which this movie is going isn’t very hard to figure out. In fact, you don’t even need to, as they announce it in the title itself: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. That famous catchphrase has melted into the Las Vegas gambling scene. Well, at least it has into what Las Vegas has become today.
The movie starts us off with two people (unrelated to each other for now) who are down on their luck and are looking to loosen up with a trip to Vegas. Nothing out of the ordinary so far, as so many of us have taken that road when life has treated us unkindly. Due to a mix-up at the hotel, Joy (Diaz) and Jack (Kutcher) have to share a room. They settle things and receive upgraded rooms and quite a few gratuities at the hotel facilities. However, having met each other already, they decide to party together throughout the night.
As sometimes happens in Vegas, our two heroes get hammered and decide it would be a good idea to get married. And as it often happens in these situations, once they sober up, they realize they made a huge mistake. However, before they act on getting a divorce, Joy gives Jack a quarter so he can try his luck at the slots of the casino. As it turns out, a gambling miracle occurs and Jack manages to win 3 million dollars. She quickly reminds him that they are still husband and wife, so she should get half the money. However, divorcing back in New York (where they are from) requires a six months period in which they have to go to counseling and try to get along.
Most of the movie action happens during this time and it is all extremely funny and well made, but I must admit I liked the beginning much more. We all know that they are going to end up together, so that’s not important for me. But that night they spent at a Vegas casino tells me more about real life than the rest of the movie put together. Getting drunk and having a wild night is basically what most singles do in Vegas, with or without slot machines. There isn’t a lot of gambling done in the movie, but the hotel and casino concept is very prominent. The movie just shows the amount of fun a person can have on the strip. However, it also shows, albeit in an extremely funny way, that there can be serious consequences if you’re not careful.