The best that can be said for “Last Vegas” — a comedy about four old men cutting loose in Sin City, “Hangover”-style — is that it’s not as bad as it sounds, with only the bare minimum of jokes about Viagra and incontinence.
The quartet of lifelong friends, now in their late 60s, reunite when one of them, affluent L.A. mogul Billy (Michael Douglas), announces he’s finally getting married (to a 32-year-old). Each of the others brings his own trite comedy device to Vegas for the bachelor party: Archie (Morgan Freeman) wants to escape from his well-meaning but over-protective son; Sam (Kevin Kline) has been given permission by his wife to have sex in Vegas as a means of reviving their own marriage (ugh); and grumpy Paddy (Robert De Niro) has turned reclusive since his wife died and has an ill-defined beef with Billy. A lounge singer in their demographic, Diana (Mary Steenburgen), befriends the four of them while they spend the weekend gambling, drinking, ogling young women, and making comical references to their restricted diets and sleep habits.
11/4/2013: The Pitch Meeting for ‘Last Vegas’
The screenplay, by Dan Fogelman (“Crazy Stupid Love,” “The Guilt Trip”), offers a few funny and good-natured moments, but it’s also larded with inane subplots (like a young bro being coerced into acting as the guys’ gofer), forced sentimentality, and a great deal of narrative wheel-spinning between the time they arrive in Vegas and the time they leave. Director Jon Turteltaub (the “National Treasure” movies) can’t coax any life out of De Niro or any laugh-worthy moments out of Douglas. Freeman and Kline, though, are merrily committed to making the best of things, and their likability keeps the film from being a total bust.
C (1 hr., 45 min.; )