Movie Review: Couples’ Retreat

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. This is probably going to be the final blog before Sunday night as I’m going to be extremely busy this weekend and if you’ve been wondering when the blog was going to come in tonight, it’s because I’ve also been extremely busy tonight. Anyway, I did go to see the movie “Couples’ Retreat” tonight. Regular readers know that when I go to the movie theater, I do blog about the movie that I saw afterwards. We’ll continue our Trinitarian Commentary then Sunday.

The movie involves a couple who is thinking about getting a divorce and they want to go on a marriage retreat to an island called Eden in order to see if they can salvage their marriage. Unfortunately, it’s pricey so they get three other couples to go along with them. Note then the first good thing. All of these people see marriage as something good and worth upholding. (Aside from one guy who is there with his girlfriend after recently leaving his wife, but I won’t say anything more about that as that’s for those who go see the movie.)

Noted also is the one couple who has kids and the kids say they want their parents to go on the trip because they don’t want their parents to get a divorce someday. Divorce is a painful reality. I believe there are times where it is the better option, but in our day and age, divorce is all too easy. A prominent Christian apologist recently told me he’s only been embarrassed once in a debate. That was when he was debating a Hindu who told the audience that at least in the country that follows his religion, 98% of the marriages last while in America, only 50% of them do. The church should be embarrassed but frankly, have we made marriage something worthwhile to uphold? Do we know what marriage really is any more?

So on this island, the couples learn to be more open with each other as they share time with a therapist and with a mystical teacher. This is one area of the movie I had trouble with as the teachers were always portrayed as Eastern style teachers speaking of karma and yoga. (Other moral concerns would include some partial nudity and some crude humor.)

Some realities do come out. The idea for instance that every couple has their problems. Each of the couples ends up working out their own difficulties when push comes to shove and they have to go to the other side of the island for another reason which I won’t go into detail over right now.

Let that be the next lesson. Marriage is hard work, which is something we don’t often realize. Of course, I can’t speak as a married yet, but we often think of the stories that end with “And they lived happily ever after.” However, in reality, in the morning Prince Charming has to go to work and Juliet has laundry to do and children to raise. There is no relationship of any kind without any problems, and marriage will fall into that.

Marriage is important, but we must not make it an idol as can be done and expect everything in it to be perfect. It won’t be. Is it because marriage is imperfect? No. The institution is divine in origin. It is because the people who are married in every case are imperfect. When imperfect people come together, there are going to be problems.

Marriage is a commitment. It is based on something deeper than just feelings. Feelings will come and go. Someone was telling me today that there are times you’ll go to bed at night and wonder “Why did I ever marry this person?” and then you’ll wake up the next day and think “Why did I ever think I could marry anyone else?”

In the end, I think there is a valid lesson to be learned and I am pleased that in the world today, there is still seen the truth that marriage does matter. For the Christian, it matters especially since this is to be a union of Christ and the church. Christians should have the best marriages of all and those must be rooted in Christ. Picture it as two people at different ends of a triangle and Christ at the top. The closer they get to Christ, the closer they get to each other.

What our country and our world needs, if the gospel is going to be proclaimed, is for Christians to really love, value, and live marriage.


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