Maggie’s Review: 20th Century Studio’s “Vacation Friends”
Streaming now on Hulu is “Vacation Friends,” an R-rated comedy starring John Cena, Lil Rel Howery, Yvonne Orji and Meredith Hagner. A vacation-wedding combo comedy that mixed raunchy, wholesome and weird, “Vacation Friends” is a fun weekend watch.
In “Vacation Friends,” uptight Marcus (Howery) and his soon-to-be fiancee Emily (Orji) arrive for a romantic vacation in Mexico, only to discover they have no place to stay. Taken in by a wild couple, Ron (Cena) and Kyla (Hagner), Marcus and Emily let loose for a week and then agree to leave their vacation friends behind. But Ron and Kyla return the weekend of their wedding to cause some havoc and mend fences.
“Vacation Friends” was not what I expected. I anticipated a standard R-rated comedy, heavy on gross out humor and tired gags. While the first act includes humor more fit for the genre, the back half of the movie highlights Cena’s talents to be outrageous and earnest at the same time. Ron and Marcus’s friendship develops enough through the hijinks to keep the movie from dragging. This movie also does what so few movies are willing to do: run less than two hours.
There’s nothing surprising in the actual plot or action of “Vacation Friends,” but the blend of sincerity and shock keeps it from being forgettable. Cena’s Ron has an endless list of surprise talents and Hagner manages to make Kyla’s naivety more sardonic than obnoxious. While none of the characters in “Vacation Friends” are new or original, the main cast gives each stereotype a twist.
An adult comedy that calls back to the R-rated comedies of the late aughts, “Vacation Friends” is a surprisingly enjoyable combo of sincere and wild that makes for an easy “good enough” watch.