Most people have different friend groups. You got your movie friends, sports buddies, party friends, and even vacation friends. The groups sometimes mix and mingle, but it’s rare. Sometimes you outgrow certain friend groups, sometimes you grow together. As adults, some of us are hesitant to make new friends, but sometimes when we do, they blossom into something like family.
The film Vacation Friends focuses on Marcus (Lil Rel Howery) and Emily (Yvonne Orji), a couple going on a trip to Mexico. Marcus plans on popping the question, and Emily is clueless. Upon arriving, everything gets ruined because of the couple above them. They run into Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner), another couple on vacation. They invite Marcus and Emily up to their room to stay after watching Marcus propose, and things get… interesting. Between drugs, sex, and insanity, Marcus begins to feel that he never wants to see these people again.
Emily’s father Harold (Robert Wisdom) is a rich man that is particular when it comes to his daughter. He only wants the “best” for his daughter and feels like Marcus isn’t that. He plans a large wedding for the couple, and things get a little crazy as Kyla and Ron literally crash the wedding. During a wild wedding weekend and some not so funny sequences, we see Harold learn an important lesson, and Marcus truly finds himself.
Vacation Friends is directed by Clay Tarver and written by numerous people. Tarver, Tom Mullen, Tim Mullen, Johnathan Goldstein, and John Francis Daley all attribute to the script. I’ll be completely upfront, this film was very bad with minimal redeeming qualities. The pacing and character development were probably the best things about this movie. Everything else falls short. For a movie that positions itself as a comedy, it sure doesn’t have a lot of successful or even memorable gags.
The acting is decent, Lil Rel as always gives a pretty decent performance, and Cena brings his charisma. Orji and Hagner have some very good chemistry onscreen. The actors literally have to carry this script in order for it to not be bad. They waste a lot of the cast also, namely Chuck Cooper (Larry) and Anna Maria Horsford (Nancy). Out of the co-stars in the film, Andrew Bachelor aka King Bach (Gabe) stands out the most. This film just wastes a lot of talent.
Overall, this is a movie with no ambition or effort outside of the cast. Hulu could’ve honestly put this money elsewhere. The best thing about this movie is the third act. It’s where most of the jokes land and everything isn’t so botched. It’s sad that it takes three-fourths of the runtime to actually get to something decent but it just further proves why this went straight to streaming. The entire cast especially the main cast deserved a better script and direction. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Vacation Friends is currently streaming on Hulu.