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Vacation Friends Movie Review: Perfectly Mindless Entertainment

Sometimes you just want to have a little mindless fun watching a movie. That is exactly what you get when you turn on Vacation Friends. The upcoming streaming comedy never sets out to be highbrow or deeply meaningful. It just wants to sit somewhere comfortably between Bridesmaids and The Hangover, the couples version of those two films, if you will.

Marcus (Lil Rel Howery) has planned a romantic Mexican vacation and proposal for his girlfriend Emily (Yvonne Orji) down to the tiniest little detail. Adventurous couple Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner) crash into those plans with the subtly of stampeding wildebeests. The normally Type A Ron eventually decides to let go, and the foursome has a wild and raucous time on vacation.

(L-R): Meredith Hagner as Kyla, Yvonne Orji as Emily, Lil Rel Howery as Marcus and John Cena as Ron in 20th Century Studios’ VACATION FRIENDS, exclusively on Hulu. Photo by Jessica Miglio. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Marcus and Emily leave Mexico, assuming the other couple were just “vacation friends” they would never see again. That changes when Ron and Kyla show up unexpectedly at Marcus and Emily’s wedding.

You can find the subtle messages of accepting people for who they are and learning to let go of expectations in the film, but if you look for those you might be doing it wrong. This is the kind of movie you need to enjoy for what it is. If you casually find some deeper meaning, great. If you walk away thinking “a cocaine margarita sounds fun,” also great. (Disclaimer here about enjoying responsibly or following the laws in your area or whatever is necessary for people to know I do not endorse cocaine margaritas…even though they do sound fun.)

(L-R): Lil Rel Howery as Marcus, Meredith Hagner as Kyla, John Cena as Ron and Yvonne Orji as Emily in 20th Century Studios’ VACATION FRIENDS, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2021 20th Century Studios.  All Rights Reserved.

I am pretty sure the cast had a blast making this movie. Their fun permeated their performances. It also manages to fall during an interesting period of time. We got the tiniest little taste of precedented times, then the Delta variant had people refunding their fall vacation plans. I’m not sure how well it would have landed last August, but for some reason, Vacation Friends‘ 2021 premiere date works. Maybe it is because we had that taste of freedom. Maybe we have learned to enjoy an at-home movie night. Whatever the reason, the timing just feels right.

Vacation Friends streams on Hulu beginning on August 27, 2021.

About Vacation Friends

Rating: R (Crude Sexual References|Language Throughout|Drug Content)

In this raw and raunchy comedy, straight-laced Marcus and Emily (Howery, Orji) are befriended by wild, thrill-seeking partiers Ron and Kyla (Cena, Hagner) at a resort in Mexico. Living in the moment, the usually level-headed couple lets loose to enjoy a week of uninhibited fun and debauchery with their new “vacation friends.” Months after their walk on the wild side, Marcus and Emily are horrified when Ron and Kyla show up uninvited at their wedding, creating chaos and proving that what happens on vacation, doesn’t necessarily stay on vacation.

As The Bunny Hops®