What Faizon Love Has Been Up To Since Couples Retreat
The hilarious comedy Couples Retreat is about four couples who head on a tropical island vacation and wind up getting caught up in a series of misadventures while trying to work on their respective relationships. Leading up to the release of the movie, a lot was made about the reteaming of Swingers stars Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, as per Slash Film. Jason Bateman and Faizon Love rounded out the four male leads for the rom-com.
Speaking to Female.com.au around the time of the comedy’s release, Bateman said the experience did not feel like work. “At times it almost felt as if we were making a movie out of a vacation,” he told the publication. The Arrested Development actor also praised Vaughn’s ability to improvise and said that helped loosen up all the other performers.
Love had worked with Vaughn and Favreau on Elf prior to Couples Retreat, but this was his first co-starring role in a blockbuster. Speaking to Los Angeles Sentinel in October 2009, Love said he was still searching for his “big break” in Hollywood. “A career is like bricks and mortar. Each movie you make adds to the foundation of a body of work,” the comedian told the outlet. “You have to keep plugging away, working hard and reinventing yourself.” Love mentioned how Favreau had encouraged him to become a leading man. “But Hollywood tends to see you in a limited way that creates a ceiling,” Love said during the 2009 interview.
Why Faizon Love felt discriminated against by the studio
Over 10 years after the release of Couples Retreat, Faizon Love sued the film’s studio, Univeral, in November 2020. According to documents obtained by Deadline, Love and his Black female counterpart, Kali Hawk, had been removed from the international poster while the white stars remained. The actor’s lawyer described it as an “act of racism.”
Following the lawsuit, Love issued a statement: “This film was a big money-maker for Universal, but instead of honoring my work and my contract, the studio chose to render me invisible to billions of moviegoers around the world,” as per Variety. His suit also claimed that Vince Vaughn had advised him “that making a big deal about his removal from the poster would not be good for his career at that time.”
Love claimed Universal did not honor a previous agreement to include him in future films, and his career faltered as a result. In January 2021, the comedian withdrew the lawsuit, and his lawyers issued a statement saying, “Universal Pictures and Faizon Love reached an amicable agreement,” (via The Hollywood Reporter).
According to Love’s IMDb page, he continued to find work following Couples Retreat, but in smaller roles and on smaller projects. He appeared in two episodes of Black-ish, and 12 episodes of Step Up: High Water. In a 2016 interview with ReelBlackTV, Love said, “My body of work created Cedric The Entertainer and Craig Robinson … they would create roles and know that was a Faizon role,” according to Comedy Hype.
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