Written by Tom J. Astle & Matt Ember
Directed by Tom Dey
Running Time: 1:37
for sexual content, partial nudity and language.
Failure to Launch may be the most perfectly titled film ever, as it failed to do anything.
Tripp is in his 30s and still living at home. His parents are tired of it and his girlfriends can't handle it. In fact, any time a woman gets close to Tripp, he invites them home so they'll break up with him. His parents think they've come up with a solution. They'll hire Paula to woo Tripp and get him to leave. Of course, things never quite work out the way you want them to.
The plot to Failure to Launch is interesting, but the problem is, you know exactly where it's going to go. Even before I watched the movie I knew that Paula, although she has never done it before, would fall in love with Tripp, but that things wouldn't be what they seem with him. There has to be some reason why he's living at home, other than he's lazy and loves his parents. So needless to say, Paula falls in love with Tripp and we find out exactly why Tripp is the way he is. If there are no surprises in a movie, there is really nothing to keep you interested, especially in a standard romantic comedy. The writers tried to keep us involved in the film by adding ridiculous subplots and secondary characters, but they served almost no purpose. I even remarked at one point 'I hope this story line leads somewhere' but alas, it did not. The story line I'm talking about is Paula's roommate Kit wanting to kill a mockingbird outside of their house. She yelled at it, went to a store to buy a shotgun, and then succeeded in having a guy shoot it with a BB gun, only to then feel sorry for it and bring it back to life. Yes, a good 15-20 minutes of the movie was spent dealing with this mockingbird, and for what? I have no idea. Granted, Zooey Deschanel is always fun to watch, but I wish they had given her something more to do.
Then there was this issue of Tripp constantly being bitten by animals. If it was funny, maybe I could accept it, but it wasn't funny, it was just stupid. They tried to make it into a whole, nature knows you're not happy so it attacks you, deep thought, but it was so absurdly done it failed to make its point. Any why is Terry Bradshaw in this movie? Who decided he would make a good actor? And more importantly, why on Earth is he walking around buck naked? I had to wash my eyes out with soap after seeing that. And they kept showing it! Was it meant to be humorous? As in, hey, look, here's a guy who's won four Super Bowl's, and he's naked! Ha Ha Ha Ha! It was just disgusting. And how did an Academy Award winner like Kathy Bates get sucked into this mess? Was her agent on vacation that week? Did she owe someone a favor? She seemed to out of place. At least Bradshaw fit into a low rent film, but Bates should know better. So why wasn't this movie a complete waste? Because of the two main stars. Both Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker can do romantic comedies in their sleep. They both have a certain charm about them where you want them to be happy. They're both attractive, and in my opinion have never looked better in a movie. The only problem is the material they're working with is horrendous. No matter how hard they tried to be earnest and sweet, they couldn't elevate the story to something workable. And with the additional characters and story lines only there to take up space, you had basically a 60 minute movie lengthened to 97 minutes, which leaves you with a lot of dead spots.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I'd take a pass on Failure to Launch. If you like McConaughey and Parker, there are plenty of other films you could rent that are much more entertaining.
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