Monday, November 8, 2010

Make A Date To See Due Date...Sorry, That Sounded Funnier In My Head

Due Date is the kind of movie that makes me say, "Haven't I seen this before?" and then stop caring about that around ten minutes in. I was kind of annoyed when I saw that Hangover Todd Philips was doing a basic ripoff of Planes, Trains and Automobiles and I basically had this review written before I even saw it. Oh, what a thing of beauty that review was. It contained phrases like, "...and I will visit great vengeance and furious anger on anyone who thinks they can copy John Hughes," and, "You suck, Todd Philips." He never would have recovered from that. Todd Philips, however, just did what he almost always does when I said ahead of time that his movies will suck. He made a movie that made me laugh from beginning to end.

Oddly, the majority of critics don't seem to agree with me. This only scored 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm assuming they all accidentally walked into a showing of Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls which I've heard is rather depressing. I'll read some other reviews later and if they seem to be confused because Robert Downey Jr. looked so much like Whoopi Goldberg, I'll know I was right. Or maybe they didn't like the scene where Downey intentionally punched an eight year old boy in the stomach. Yes, that happened. He hit him hard too but I blame the kid since he easily could have blocked it.

Yes, with some variations, this is Planes, Train and Automobiles. I don't know if anyone has even bothered to attempt some lame denial but, if they did, they're either lying or stupid. So, what are these variations? It's kind of like when you copy your term paper off the internet. You change a few things here and there so you can legitimately say you wrote it but you're not fooling anybody. The big change, however, was the removal of limits. Philips is the guy who thought it was a good idea in The Hangover to show us Ken Jeong completely naked while keeping Heather Graham clothed and not only did he not get chased by people with pitchforks but it became one of the biggest hits of the year.

Robert Downey Jr. plays Peter Highman, a man trying to get home to Los Angeles from Florida so he can be present for his pregnant wife's planned C-section. It's established in a conversation with his wife that he has made great progress lately with his anger management problem. The only reason to bring something like that up, of course, is if it plays a role in the plot later but nah, let's just dismiss that. what could possibly happen in the few hours it will take to fly from Florida to L.A.? Enter Ethan Tramblay (Zach Galifianakis, and let me give a quick thank you to whoever invented the copy and paste feature and saved me from having to type out that name). Like John Candy was in Planes, etc., Ethan is a not-particularly-bright guy who manages to annoy the crap out of people but is also such a thoroughly decent human being that you can't help but eventually like him. "Eventually" is the operative word here. Ethan's complete lack of boundaries makes him into the kind of guy who immediately insinuates himself into your life as if you and he had been friends for years. His annoying natures causes him to talk and speak in the rudest and most inappropriate of ways (at one point me masturbates in front of Peter). Lastly, his lack of smarts renders him incapable of realizing that you shouldn't speak of bombs of terrorists while on an airplane and this conversation, which Peter tries to end, put both Ethan and Peter on that thing that has never actually caught a terrorist, the No-Fly List. And thus our heroes share a bonding experience when Peter realizes his wallet is still on the plane and is forced to accept Ethan's offer of a ride to Los Angeles.

And so we now have two guys, one extremely annoying and the other with very shaky anger management skills who must spend several stressful days together. Does hilarity ensure? I thought so, even when Peter punches a little kid. It was an awful thing to do and the fact that the kid was being a brat was no excuse but it was also funny. In lesser hands, it wouldn't have been but the director, writer and actors actually managed to make an act of child abuse funny and funny is all I really ask out of a comedy. Besides, Peter gets his later on when he gets his ass kicked by a guy in a wheelchair.

So yes, go see Due Date. If you found it offensive, stupid, boring and an intolerable film watching experience, I consider that to be entirely your fault.

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