So it would seem the poor economy hasn't quite hit our friends at Universal Pictures. Exhibit A: I'm in Bora Bora. That's right, a few hours ago I finished a long trek that began in New York, took me to LA, then to Papeete via Air Tahiti (duh), on a connecting flight to Bora Bora, and finally a little boat ride to our absurdly idyllic backdrop for the junket that's about to get underway.
What movie is Universal shelling out this kind of cash for? Why "Couples Retreat" of course! Take a little "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," throw a dash of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau and what do ya know?!? So for the next few days intrepid MTV News producer Vanessa White Wolf and I will be here in a world an awfully long way from our Times Square home to soak up the sights and sounds and have a little fun chatting with the stars in some stupendously cool environs. Oh, and we'll make our co-workers in New York hate us as they never have before. (Editor's note: Already there, Josh. Already there.)
For a pasty kid from NYC (that's me, NOT Vanessa) it's all fantastically absurd. And the surreal moments have already begun. Here are a few: we exited our plane from LA in Papeete (that's French Polynesia to the uninitiated like myself) only to get draped in flower necklaces. The first time that ceremony made an impression on me was a memorable "Brady Bunch" two-parter. As we waited for our connecting flight to Bora Bora proper, I caught up with Jason Bateman hanging out with his wife and adorable kid. In the last three months I've talked to Jason in San Diego, Toronto, and now the land that time forgot. If he weren't such a cool guy he'd have taken out a restraining order on me. Well the week is young I suppose.
Once we boarded our puddle jumper of a flight I had the fortune of sitting next to Faizon Love. Big man that Faizon. Not a lotta legroom is what I'm trying to say. Fate intervened and mechanical difficulties necessitated us switching to another wisp of a plane. My abject fear of flying was slightly mitigated by the fact that we were in the company of Vince, Jason ("same seats" he screamed as we exited the unassigned seating of the first ill-fated connecting flight), Kristen Bell (full-on canoodling with Dax Shepard when in Bora Bora) and frickin' Peter Billingsley.
Once on the ground we were anxious to make our way to the resort that would be our home the next four nights. We're actually staying in the same locale they shot the film. And if you've seen the trailer for the film you'll understand why we haven't raised a ruckus. "No complaining!" Vaughn yelled to us as we were checking in. No worries there.