Review – Vacation Friends

It’s been a spell since we have had a raunchy comedy that landed. Fortunately 20th Century Films finally got their Vacation Friends project off the ground led by Lil Rel Howy and John Cena. While the premise seems overly familiar, each actor brings their own unique brand of comedy and fun to the table that melds together creating a great film. 

The film focuses on couple Marcus (Howery) and Emily (Yvonne Orji) who travel to Mexico for a romantic vacation. Marcus has everything booked and is ready to propose in the finest suite. Things seem idyllic until upon opening the door to their romantic room, it has been completely flooded by the spa above them currently occupied by working class loud mouths Ron (Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner) who invite them to stay in their room after the surprise in the lobby proposal. 

From here the antics involve cocaine laced margaritas, cliff-diving and crashing a catamaran teach Marcus and Emily to relax and get into holiday mode while Ron and Kyla firmly cement themselves as their best friends, inserting them into their lives forever. 

The movie then switches gear to Marcus and Emily’s wedding with their conservative family who are not impressed with Marcus. Ron and Kyla track them down and insert themselves into the wedding proceedings. Seeing how the two couples interact with the snooty family is incredibly fun to watch with Robert Wisdom and Lynn Whitfield playing high society types who have no idea what Marcus does. 

Chemistry is a big thing in comedy and it is in no short supply here. The Howery, Orji, Cena and Hagner are all in on the hi-jinx in this film. They really feel like a group of rag tag friends who come together through weird circumstances to become like family. Howery really takes the reigns here and his characters journey from start to finish. Cena also steps up to the plate in this role with a few films on his belt, this feels like his best role to date. Having him in full bro mode while still portraying that wide eyed innocence just adds to his charm. 

Vacation Friends is loud with its antics and leans heavily into the raunch element. With great performances and a wedding crasher style story, this serves as a great throwback to early 2000’s raunchy comedies like Wedding Crashers, The Sweetest Thing and Road Trip. 

Vacation Friends is streaming on Disney + Star tonight from 6pm.

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