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WWE veteran turned movie star, John Cena, is having a bigger presence in the comedy movie genre with Vacation Friends, streaming on Disney+ on Friday, Aug. 27.
“I love it because you know what you're going to get when you see the movie,” Cena said at a press conference in advance of the movie’s release.
“I'll use Superbad, The Hangover, you could go on and on, you get what The Hangover is about…and what drew me to the script was, wow I'm really kind of focusing on trying to be present.”
Vacation Friends introduces us to Marcus and Emily, played by Lil Rel Howery and Yvonne Orji, who (you guessed it) go on a vacation to Mexico and are just about to get engaged. But those plans start to go awry when they meet fellow vacationers Ron and Kyla (John Cena and Meredith Hagner), who epitomize the concept of “living in the moment.” They say they’ve spent all their money on booking the biggest suite in the resort and have the more straight-laced Marcus and Emily tag along on their vacation, drug-induced debauchery.
Months after the vacation, Ron and Kyla showed up to Marcus and Emily’s wedding without receiving a formal invitation, creating even more chaos, but now in front of their entire family as well.
While Cena may not be showing off his latest and greatest WWE moves, the star praised the physical comedy written in the script by director and co-writer Clay Tarver, notably known for his work on the series Silicon Valley.
“Being a physical performer in the WWE, the reason we transcend so many borders is because you get the action,” Cena explained. “I think what Clay brilliantly did in the script was provide a ton of physical comedy.”
“So it's also a movie that you can even not necessarily know what's going on with the audio, and see the movie and laugh along with it because of the tremendous amount of physical comedy.”
'Hopefully we can be Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor'
While Vacation Friends doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel in terms of comedies, the cast works well together, particularly Cena and Rel.
“Because I'm a big wrestling fan too,...he actually really loves what he does and I think just working with somebody else that loves what they do, and [is] so passionate about it, it made it easy for us to play,” Rel said about Cena. “I love the fact that John was open to trying things, having fun with it and whatever, even if it was the [silliest] thing, he did it.
“Hopefully we can be Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.”
In terms of playing Marcus, Rel revealed that he liked playing someone who seemingly has things figured out but hasn’t had a chance to “let his hair down.”
“I like playing really irritated people,” Rel said.
“What you're going to see throughout the movie is just him kind of loosen up and that's what made Marcus really dope.”