What The Hell Happened To Vince Vaughn?

Monday, January 17 by

Honestly, what the hell happened to Vince Vaughn? And no, I’m not making a joke about his weight. If I lived in Chicago and had access to the Italian beef and sausage combo on a daily basis, my ass would look a lot like Queen Latifah’s, so there’s no judgment there. Wha I am making a joke about is his career, which is also starting to look a lot like Queen Latifah’s.

It’s not like Vaughn was the next Peter Sellers, but he did star in some memorable films: Swingers, Old School, and Anchor Man, to name a few. His last decent film, The Wedding Crashers, was a critical and commercial success, bringing in close to $300 million. But it’s been six years since Vaughn’s been in something that didn’t suck less on screen than Chloë Sevigny. His latest film, The Dilemma, is currently tanking at the box office, which is due in no small part to the fact that it’s rocking a 25% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critical reception isn’t everything, especially for a comedy. But considering that 25% is more than double what his last film scored, it’s clearly not an isolated incident.

Of his four previous films*, The Break-Up is the highest rated at 34%. Fours Christmases is next with 25%, followed by Fred Claus at 21% and rounded out with Couples Retreat at a whopping 12%. If you combine all four of those scores, the total is still seven points below Toy Story 3. I understand that not every attempt is going to be a hit. Making a film is extremely difficult work, and it’s easy for an asshole hack like myself to sit in my underwear and criticize via the Internet. But the fact that it’s easy for me to criticize doesn’t mean I’m wrong. Vaughn’s last five years of work are an embarrassment by any reasonable standard.

So, what caused Vaughn to pull an Adam Sandler? While there’s no telling for sure, it’s worth noting that Vaughn and his sister Victoria began Wild West Picture Show Productions in 2006, and the company was responsible for the five turds we’ve already discussed. This could just be a coincidence, but all things considered, it would be one hell of a fluke. Maybe the added responsibility of producing has clouded Vaughn’s judgment. Or perhaps he simply gave up all pretense of making a quality product and is now worried only about the bottom line. In either case, any moron (like myself) who knows how to use IMDB can spot the correlation between Vaughn’s career as a producer and a dramatic drop in the quality of his films.

To be clear, Vaughn is not only likable, but talented. That’s what makes the whole situation so frustrating. To see the guy who played Beanie Campbell in Old School sharing the screen with Paul Blart is depressing, and the fact that it’s in a romantic comedy just adds insult to injury. It’s one thing to see a struggling/washed up actor doing crap films to make ends meet. But Vaughn can literally do anything he wants, and he chooses to make Couples Retreat.

There may be hope for Vaughn, as there are rumors of an upcoming project with director David O. Russell. Although to put things into perspective, Ron Howard directed The Dilemma, so even a good director is no guarantee. But whatever happens, it’s high time Vince Vaughn decided to, once again, start making comedies that are actually funny.

Actually, scratch that. It’s high time Vaughn decided to start acting in comedies that are actually funny. He should leave the producing to someone else.

* Note: Into the Wild was not included because Vaughn did not have a starring role.


  1. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm

    Kevin James

    Nice point of view

  2. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm



  3. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm

    Tyler S

    Vince Vaughn is the M. Night Shyamalan of acting

  4. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    He was in into the wild a couple years ago which got good reviews if i remember. i think vince is just lazy and does whatever is the easiest.

  5. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    You have a steaming turd in place of what should be where your brain is.

    Comedy and horror are two different genres ya big BUFFOONERY FUCK

  6. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    Something I have noticed SJ columnists; every other commenter is not as awesome as I.

  7. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    All hail TDM

  8. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    yeah, I left that off cause he wasn’t the star

  9. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    Laughing ALL THE WAY to the bank.

  10. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    is he vince d’onofrio’s brother?

    i can’t tell these two apart.

  11. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    He didn’t have a starring role in Anchorman but it was mentioned in the article.

  12. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm

    This Guy

    The confusion stems from all the comedies Shamalamadingdong directs.

  13. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    4 Christmases with Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon was pretty good, but most of the goodness was from watching the interplay between them. The script was so-so and, sure enough, predicatable.

  14. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    Maybe its his success that was a fluke. Seems like this critic has nostalgia goggles on.

  15. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm

    come back to us vince

    Yeah, doesn’t really change the overall point – exception that proves the rule, even. Get Shorty 2 was my first WTF VV moment. I hope whatever has to happen for him to get it together happens. VV when he’s on is one of my all time favorites..

  16. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    I agree that it’s disappointing when, like, every word he said in Wedding Crashers was funny, but there was quite a lull between Swingers and Old School, too. Plus, I mean, how many genuinely funny comedies come out every year, three? When you’re making a comedy, even if you yourself are talented, the odds are against it. Guy gets paid millions to make movies with his friends, I certainly can’t blame him for that.

  17. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    I think that saying he starred in Anchorman is a bit of a stretch, he had like 4 minutes of screen time.

  18. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm

    Texters should be killed

    Tyler! You just insulted M. Night Shyamalan!

  19. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm

    Texters should be killed

    Tyler! You just insulted M. Night Shyamalan!

  20. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    Well he was in Jurassic Park between those 2

  21. January 17, 2011 4:19 pm


    Well he was in Jurassic Park between those 2

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