Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz hate on each other with dynamite verve in What Happens in Vegas. The Punch and Judy fireworks get off to an early start, when the two wake up in Las Vegas only to learn that they got hitched during what should have been a sloshed one-night stand. To lay claim to a $3 million slot-machine payoff (one pulled the lever, the other provided the quarter), the two are forced to live together for six months as husband and wife, and I would say that the romantic hilarity just ensues from there, except that Kutcher and Diaz diss each other with such eye-rolling, fang-baring, sexually sarcastic conviction that you may think you’ve wandered into a dinner-theater revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring (and rewritten by) Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman.
He, declares she, is a childish slob who wouldn’t know how to carry on a relationship with the hair balls in his sink; she, declares he, is a control-freak snob who doesn’t think she’s good enough to be loved. The insults fly with whip-crack timing, except that I missed what the old comedies of masculine-feminine venom like It Happened One Night used to have, which is a spark of affection rolling around the embers of anger. Kutcher, who gives his most energized performance to date, and Diaz, darting between the caustic and shrill, look as if they’re warming up to groovy hate sex, not love, which may be why the film goes flat the moment it turns friendly. B-