Couples Retreat Case Thrown Out of Court, But Not Before Being Funny

Back in March, model-turned-make up artist Irina Krupnik filed a $10 million lawsuit against NBC Universal Inc., makers of the film Couples Retreat. She was aggrieved because the film featured a "comedy" scene of Jon Favreau using her as grist to his masturbatory mill.

Though she'd signed a complete release on the picture ten years ago, this case was to be built upon her supposed lack of awareness that the image would ever be used in a "quasi-pornographic context." It was a picture of her in a bikini, so she'd have to be particularly naive to think it could never be seen as a sexualised, possibly even erotic, image.

Here's a few of my favourite bits from the original summons. In view of some of these insults, Jon Favreau should consider his own defamation countersuit, maybe:

Utterly nuts bananas. Pretty much everything in, say, Rambo would be llegal on the subway too but I wouldn't use that to bring a case against Stallone.

But sense has prevailed and the case has now been thrown out by Judge O. Peter Sherwood. His decision added a few interesting bits of business to the whole tale: Ms. Krupnik was paid $1500 for the shoot, way back in 2001. The Couples Retreat filmmakers licensed it for $500. As well as being a regular slice of rent-a-cheesecake at, Ms. Krupnik had also taken part in some nude photo sessions – which one might say would colour her as a hypocrite.

One could argue that Krupnik bringing the lawsuit in the first place, not to mention having it worded like this, is potentially just as damaging to her reputation, if not more so, than the totally legal, very forgettable use of her image in the movie.

I suppose the final irony here is written in all of those sad lonely scenes of "overweight, unhappily married" men masturbating over their DVDs of Couples Retreat, or screen-capping it to share online with the similarly "dessicated".