2009 Universal Fall Picture Preview: ‘It’s Complicated,’ ‘Couples Retreat,’ More

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(L to R) Crepsley (John C. Reilly) introduces Darren (Chris Massoglia) to a new world in Cirque Du Freak. Credit: David Lee.

CHICAGO – This 17-image slideshow contains the official press images for the Fall/Winter schedule from Universal Pictures including “Love Happens,” “Couples Retreat,” “Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” The Fourth Kind,” and “It’s Complicated.”

Movie synopsis and cast information in order of release date:

LOVE HAPPENS
Release date: September 18, 2009
Genre: Romantic drama
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Jennifer Aniston, Dan Fogler, Judy Greer, Joe Anderson, John Carroll Lynch, Frances Conroy and Martin Sheen
Directed by: Brandon Camp
Written by: Brandon Camp & Mike Thompson

Synopsis: “Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston star in the romantic drama Love Happens. When a self-help author arrives in Seattle to teach a sold-out seminar, he unexpectedly meets the one person who might finally be able to help him help himself.

Dr. Burke Ryan (Eckhart) is on the precipice of a major multimedia deal, but the therapist who asks his patients to openly confront their pain is secretly unable to take his own advice.

Eloise Chandler (Aniston) has sworn off men and decided to focus on her floral business. However, when she meets Burke at the hotel where he’s speaking, there is an instant attraction. But will two people who have met the right person at exactly the wrong time be able to give love another chance?

As each struggles with the hurt of love and loss, they realize that in order to move forward, they need to let go of the past. And if they can, they’ll find that, sometimes, love happens when you least expect it.”

COUPLES RETREAT
Release date: October 9, 2009
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love, Kristin Davis, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kali Hawk and Jean Reno
Writers: Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn & Dana Fox
Directed by: Peter Billingsley

Synopsis: “Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Malin Ackerman, Kristin Davis, Kristen Bell and Faizon Love star in Universal Pictures’ comedy Couples Retreat. The comedy follows four Midwestern couples who embark on a journey to a tropical island resort. While one of the couples is there to work on their marriage, the other three set out to jet ski, spa and enjoy some fun in the sun. They soon discover that participation in the resorts couples therapy is not optional. Suddenly, their group-rate vacation comes at a price. What follows is a hilarious look at real world problems faced by all couples. The film also stars Kali Hawk and Jean Reno.”

CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE’S ASSISTANT
Release date: October 23, 2009
Genre: Fantasy adventure
Cast: John C. Reilly, Ken Watanabe, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Massoglia, Ray Stevenson, Patrick Fugit, Orlando Jones, with Willem Dafoe and Salma Hayek
Directed by: Paul Weitz
Screenplay by: Paul Weitz and Brian Helgeland
Based on the “Cirque du Freak” Series of Books by: Darren Shan

Synopsis: “CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE’S ASSISTANT, based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan, is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.

16-year-old Darren (Chris Kelly) was like most kids in his suburban neighborhood. He hung out with his best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson), got decent grades and usually stayed out of trouble. But when he and his buddy stumble upon a traveling freak show, things begin to change inside Darren. That’s the exact moment when a vampire named Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) turns him into something, well, bloodthirsty.

Newly undead, he joins the Cirque Du Freak, a touring sideshow filled with monstrous creatures from a snakeboy and a wolfman to a bearded lady (Salma Hayek) and a gigantic barker (Ken Watanabe). As Darren flexes his newfound powers in this dark world, he becomes a treasured pawn between the vampires and their deadlier counterparts. And while trying to survive, one boy will struggle to keep their brewing war from devouring what’s left of his humanity.”

THE FOURTH KIND
Release date: November 6, 2009
Genre: Thriller
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Will Patton, Elias Koteas
Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Story by: Olatunde Osunsanmi & Terry Lee Robbins
Screenplay by: Olatunde Osunsanmi

Synopsis: “In 1972, a scale of measurement was established for alien encounters. When a UFO is sighted, it is called an encounter of the first kind. When evidence is collected, it is known as an encounter of the second kind. When contact is made with extraterrestrials, it is the third kind. The next level, abduction, is the fourth kind. This encounter has been the most difficult to document…until now.

Structured unlike any film before it, The Fourth Kind is a provocative thriller set in modern-day Nome, Alaska, where—mysteriously since the 1960s—a disproportionate number of the population has been reported missing every year. Despite multiple FBI investigations of the region, the truth has never been discovered.

Here in this remote region, psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler (Milla Jovovich) began videotaping sessions with traumatized patients and unwittingly discovered some of the most disturbing evidence of alien abduction ever documented.

Using never-before-seen archival footage that is integrated into the film, The Fourth Kind exposes the terrified revelations of multiple witnesses. Their accounts of being visited by alien figures all share disturbingly identical details, the validity of which is investigated throughout the film.”

IT’S COMPLICATED
Release date: December 25, 2009
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin
Written and Directed by:Nancy Meyers

Synopsis: “Writer/director Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) directs Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin in It’s Complicated, a comedy about love, divorce and everything in between.

Jane (Streep) is the mother of three grown kids, owns a thriving Santa Barbara bakery/restaurant and has—after a decade of divorce—an amicable relationship with her ex-husband, attorney Jake (Baldwin). But when Jane and Jake find themselves out of town for their son’s college graduation, things start to get complicated. An innocent meal together turns into the unimaginable—an affair. With Jake remarried to the much younger Agness (Lake Bell), Jane is now, of all things, the other woman.

Caught in the middle of their renewed romance is Adam (Martin), an architect hired to remodel Jane’s kitchen. Healing from a divorce of his own, Adam starts to fall for Jane, but soon realizes he’s become part of a love triangle.

Should Jane and Jake move on with their lives, or is love truly lovelier the second time around? It’s…complicated.”

You can click “Next” and “Previous” to scan through this slideshow or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below. Photos credited individually. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Cirque_1: (L to R) Crepsley (John C. Reilly) introduces Darren (Chris Massoglia) to a new world in Cirque Du Freak. Credit: David Lee.

  2. Cirque_2: (L to R) Darren (Chris Massoglia) is introduced by Crepsley (John C. Reilly) to the freak show in Cirque Du Freak. Credit: David Lee.

  3. Cirque_3: (L to R) Crepsley (John C. Reilly) makes a curious proposal to Darren (Chris Massoglia) in Cirque Du Freak. Credit: David Lee.

  4. Cirque_4: (L to R) Crepsley (John C. Reilly) makes a curious proposal to Darren (Chris Massoglia) in Cirque Du Freak. Credit: Universal Pictures.

  5. Couples_1: (L to R) Joey (Jon Favreau), Ronnie (Malin Akerman), Dave (Vince Vaughn), Shane (Faizon Love) and Lucy (Kristin Davis) in Couples Retreat. Credit: John Johnson.

  6. Couples_2: Faizon Love and Kali Hawk star as Shane and Trudy in Couples Retreat. Credit: John Johnson.

  7. Couples_3: Kristen Bell and Jason Bateman star as Cynthia and Jason in Couples Retreat. Credit: John Johnson.

  8. Couples_4: (Clockwise from top left) Kristen Bell, Jon Favreau, Kristin Davis, Faizon Love, Kali Hawk, Malin Akerman, Vince Vaughn, and Jason Bateman in Couples Retreat. Credit: John Johnson.

  9. Couples_5: Kristin Davis and Jon Favreau star as Lucy and Joey in Couples Retreat. Credit: John Johnson.

  10. Couples_6: Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman star as Dave and Ronnie in Couples Retreat. Credit: John Johnson.

  11. Fourth_Kind_1: Milla Jovovich stars as Dr. Abigail Tyler in The Fourth Kind. Credit: Simon Vesrano.

  12. Fourth_Kind_2: Milla Jovovich stars as Dr. Abigail Tyler in The Fourth Kind. Credit: Simon Vesrano.

  13. Its_Complicated_1: Jane (Meryl Streep) and new love interest Adam (Steve Martin) in the new film from writer/director Nancy Meyers, Its Complicated. Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon.

  14. Its_Complicated_2: Jane (Meryl Streep) and ex-husband Jake (Alec Baldwin) in the new film from writer/director Nancy Meyers, Its Complicated. Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon.

  15. Love_Happens_1: Jennifer Aniston stars as florist Eloise in the romantic drama Love Happens. Credit: Kimberley French.

  16. Love_Happens_2: Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston star as Burke and Eloise in the romantic drama Love Happens. Credit: Kimberley French.

  17. Love_Happens_3: Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston star as Burke and Eloise in the romantic drama Love Happens. Credit: Kimberley French.

    HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

    By BRIAN TALLERICO
    Content Director
    HollywoodChicago.com
    brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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