What Happens in Vegas...

Okay...the basic plot...both characters, played respectively by Ashton Kutcher ("The Butterfly Effect" and "The Guardian") and Cameron Diaz ("Being John Malkovich" and "The Holiday") have suffered individual setbacks. Each has been counseled by his/her best friend, "Let's just go to Las Vegas and have a good time! Give yourself a break!" (Her fiancé broke up with her because she wasn't spontaneous enough and his father fired him because he never completed any of his carpentry projects.)

They meet because a computer error books both sets of friends into the same hotel room. Before this little Las Vegas "break" is over, Diaz and Kutcher find themselves married -- as a result of a MAJOR drunken night! They wake up in a snit because neither one wants to be married, particularly to each other. She storms out of the room. A few minutes they throw insults back and forth in a casino where she has been playing a slot machine, she waves a quarter in his face -- which he grabs -- and she turns to leave. Angrily, he stuffs the quarter into the slot machine and wins three million dollars. He played the machine; it was her quarter; they fight again and then she decides she will go for a community property settlement. She flashes her vending-machine wedding ring and the fight is on.

The upshot is that an impatient New York City judge, played by Dennis Miller ("The Net" and "Murder at 1600"), refuses to hear the case until he sees evidence that they are trying to mend their broken marriage. They are assigned a marriage counselor, played by one of our favorites, the dependable Queen Latifah ("Bringing Down the House" and "Hairspray"), who instantly sees through any baloney they might try. They have to meet these conditions for six months or forfeit the money.

This is a clichéd premise, predictable and formulaic, but it is great fun, nonetheless. The script is generous with secondary plots and characters, so there is never a dull moment. Our screening crowd was also treated to a guest appearance of the screenwriter, Dana Fox ("The Wedding Date"), who chatted freely with us after the show for almost half an hour. She said she got her biggest surprise at their first production meeting. She discovered that both Diaz and Kutcher are actually very smart people! I know he produces several television shows and they are both well-traveled and experienced, but I, too, was surprised. In about ten years, after he grows into his bones (and maybe improves his acting skills?) Kutcher might become a force to be reckoned with. He is already a treat to the eye!