I thought this would be appropriate to watch since I recently got married on 9-10-11! First noticing the description, I was worried this was going to be a rip off of Couples Retreat. Don’t get me wrong I love watching Christian based movies as they can be unique and refreshing, however like any other film, I hope to see originality and it being decent enough to watch more than once. Despite this concern, I watched Marriage Retreat because it is fairly new and was just released on Netflix.
Marriage Retreat is about three Christian couples who aren’t so happily wed. One couple consists of a soap actor and his wife Donna; who is a bit jealous and annoyed by the attention he gets from others. Another couple is former restate agent Bobby, now unemployed and addicted to gambling, and Melody the daughter of a Korean dry cleaning service whose parents don’t approve of him. The third contains Claire who is baby crazy, but her husband Mark isn’t too thrilled on the idea of being a father. While at Church the three couples hear of a special Marriage retreat, led by Dr. Craig and Katrina Sullivan, and unanimously agree to attend… Marriage Retreat unfortunately, in my opinion, did rip off Couples Retreat to some degree, but this wasn’t a bad movie either. Some of the similarities were the following:
- Both involve some unorthodox methods. Only in Marriage Retreat it is two Christians rather than one New Ager in Couples Retreat.
- One husband has an addiction problem. Couples Retreat it was porn/lust when Marriage Retreat was online gambling.
- One husband is more focused on work than his wife.
- One spouse is a bit of a control freak. Couples Retreat it is the husband while Marriage Retreat it is the wife.
- The couples think the trip is going to simply be a glorified vacation. Couples Retreat was on a 5 star resort so they had more of an excuse to think that.
- Both hint the Husbands are much more to blame for their problems.
- Both have 100 percent happy endings.
However, there were some unique original points which redeems this review. For an example I liked the final exercise where the couples are shackled together, have to hike down the mountain trail, and can only find their key beside the cross of Jesus; there were certainly some inspirational scenes. I also thought there were some scenes that were pretty funny like where the three guys are badmouthing their wives and get caught thanks to Dr. Craig tricking them. There were some moments which I found cheesy like one wife equating Dr. Craig and Katrina’s relationship as “he’s like her rock”. I think the movie went by too fast in that they should have made this a two-hour movie rather than a near 1 1/2 hours. Overall if you’re nervous about watching Couples Retreat due its language and content, or you simply want to see a decent movie about marriage then this is for you.
TCP Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars