Last night, once the kids were mercifully in bed, the kitchen had been restored to its natural state after the dinner chaos and I was sitting on the couch cuddling a whisky, a strange and unusual feeling washed over me. It was peculiar and something I hadn't felt much of over the past two weeks.
Like a lot of people, my partner and I have been lugging the bulky twin burdens of parenting young children while also working fulltime during level 4 conditions.
As parents across the nation will be quick to volunteer, this is a juggling act. Only the part left unsaid is that for this particular act the balls you're trying to keep in the air are made of razor blades that have been dipped in poison before being set on fire and you're juggling them on a tightrope of your own mental health and sanity while a crowd of dwarfs spend their day booing, brawling and biffing plump, juicy tomatoes at you.
You're also shouldering a backpack filled with the weighty stress of knowing that a deadly pandemic is swirling in the air outside your closed door, circling closer every time the locations of interest list is updated, and dangling from your wrist is a chunky bracelet of worry beads made out of the stock levels of your food, coffee, toilet paper and - dear gawd, please be enough - booze.
It's a lot. I'm also well aware that things could be so much worse and that a lot of people have a far, far rawer deal than myself. It's possible to feel both incredibly fortunate and quite strained by the heavy vibes of the moment.
But, as I was saying, for a couple of hours last night all of that doom and gloom and exhaustion and gratitude floated away like a balloon whose string has slipped out of the tight grip of a crying child.
I can't say for certain whether it's because of the above and last night I finally cracked or if it's because it's a genuinely funny movie but Vacation Friends made me laugh and laugh and laugh.
That peculiar feeling washing over me, I realised, was happiness. Just like the gloomy protagonist of Radiohead's 1997 hit Karma Police, for a minute there I lost myself. I was laughing so much that I forgot to be weighed down or stressed out. It was bliss.
The movie is streaming on Star, the adult-friendly hub of Disney+. It doesn't break the mould or do anything bold and exciting. There's no surprises or plot twists. It is not innovating or clever. It has received average to poor reviews. Rotten Tomatoes awarded it a middling 60 per cent rating. Other critics have labelled it "crass" and "classless".
It might just be my movie of the year so far.
Vacation Friends is a straight-up odd-couple comedy about an uptight couple who are befriended by a boisterous couple while holidaying at a luxury resort in Mexico. Circumstances force them together and over a wild and debaucherous week of thrill-seeking activities, endless margaritas, nightclubbing and the odd hit of party drugs, the polar opposites all bond.
That's the first half of the movie. The second half has the long-ghosted "vacation friends" forcing themselves back into the uptight couple's life by crashing their wedding after wrongly assuming their invitation had been lost in the mail.
Former wrestler-turned-actor John Cena absolutely smashes it as the overly friendly, in-your-face big mouth while comedian-turned-actor Lil Rel Howery gives a pitch-perfect performance as a total square unwillingly learning to let go.
It's all pretty standard stuff. But the movie's exotic, sun-drenched locales offer severely needed escapism and its absolutely crammed with over-the-top, laugh-out-loud scenes: a boating trip that goes horribly wrong, a mix-up with the wedding rings, a chaotic day out on the golf course, and one of the funniest hallucinatory drug scenes in recent memory.
And at the end of another incredibly long, level 4 lockdown day that's all I want. I don't want to watch Citizen Kane. I don't want to think or concentrate. Heck, I don't want to expend any mental energy at all because after juggling kids and work there's simply none left in the tank.
Vacation Friends asked nothing of me. It knows exactly what kind of movie it is and it delivers. It's dumb, it's ridiculous and it's silly. When's the sequel?