Rated: PG-13 | Running Time: 97 Minutes
From: Paramount Pictures
Sometimes, as a movie reviewer, I find myself in the minority of movie reviewers, and such I find myself again in regards to the movie “Failure to Launch,” because, well, I actually liked the movie. First, let’s get to the movie itself…
“Failure to Launch” gives us Matthew McConaughey as Tripp. Tripp is in his 30’s and lives at home with parents Al (Terry Bradshaw) and Sue (Kathy Bates). This may sound odd, but with his utter fear of commitment, and the fact that his mom still makes him breakfast, washes his clothes, cleans his room, and they let him have his friends over, it’s actually a pretty sweet set-up. I mention the fear of commitment part because even though Tripp is good with the ladies, once he sees that look in their eyes that they want a more meaningful relationship, well, Tripp then takes them back to “his” place where once the girls find out he still lives at home, well, they’re out of there quicker than shit through a goose.
Well, Mom and Dad are getting a little tired of Tripp still living at home, and they find out about this service, or dudette as you will, who will let you pay her to get your kid moved out. Enter Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), said dudette. Yup, she gets hired to get Tripp to move out, and she things are going smoothly until, well, I know, you can guess it, she starts falling for Tripp. But she has a job to do, especially since she’s getting paid for it, so she keeps trying to work Tripp, who, in the meantime, is, of course, falling for Paula. With that Tripp knows it’s time to end the relationship, so he invites Paula “home,” except when Paula “finds out” Tripp lives at home, Paula throws a wrench into Tripp’s break-up plans by, well, not breaking up with him. Tripp is in new waters, Paula does the one thing she’s not supposed to do as part of her job, namely sleep with client’s son, but the movie must move along. In the meantime, one of Tripp’s buddies is falling for Paula’s friend, Kit (Zooey Deschanel), to give us a subplot.
Yes you can probably guess how things go, I mean, it’s pretty straightforward. You can guess that Tripp will find out Paula was hired by his parents to get him to move out of the house, and of course, this will not have a good ending. You can guess it will be revealed why Tripp still lives at home. You can also guess that Mom, Dad, Kit, and the friends, all connive a ways to get Tripp and Paula back together. And yes, you can probably guess that all live happily ever after.
Critics seem to be bashing this film because it is so predictable but sometimes predictable can be fun. Other critics are bashing that we really don’t need to see Terry Bradshaw’s butt, and even though I agree, I would rather have seen Zooey’s, I found the scene pretty funny. Still other critics just consider all of the characters, except maybe Kit, as complete idiots. Me, I laughed, and really, that’s all I wanted to do. I’m not saying “Failure to Launch” will make it into the annals of a “Sleepless in Seattle” romantic comedy, but I wasn’t the only one laughing in the theater so I don’t think I’m alone in liking it for what it was.
There are worse movies out there, and I’ll bet some dudes, as they get dragged to the theater to see this movie, whose relationships might be near the ending stage, might actually figure that Tripp has a pretty good set-up living at home. They might even wish they lived at home, too, so they could take their date home after the movie, sleep with them, have them figure out he lives with his parents, and they break up with him. You know what Tripp gets the morning after a break-up? A fantastic breakfast from Mom, he steals the sports’ section from Dad, and Mom cleans his room. Not too bad.
Nothing great, nothing horrible. I’d say pay for a matinee and it’s a solid DVD rental. With that, as opposed to most critics who seem to really not like this movie, I’m giving “Failure to Launch” 3 ½ stars out of 5.
That’s it for this one! L8R!!!