Monday, November 8, 2010

Due Date

Shortly after leaving Due Date, the farcical, absurd waste of time from Hangover director Todd Phillips, I received a text from my good friend, asking me if the movie was any good. 

I told him that the movie was stupid, but people who like those kinds of movies should like it, meaning, he would like it.  He thought that meant I was calling him simple.  Sigh.

Since that text conversation, I’ve spent far more time than I should thinking about this movie.  Because not only is Due Date not worth your viewing time, it isn’t worth your time period (which includes reading this review).

But you’re here, so: Due Date is basically the last 10 minutes of The Hangover, spread over 100 exhaustive minutes.  Tightly-wound Peter (a bored Robert Downey Jr.) needs to get from Atlanta to L.A. to witness the birth of his child from his caring wife (a wasted Michelle Monaghan).  But due to a series of absurdly far-fetched circumstances, Peter’s only way home is via a rental car with the increasingly annoying Ethan (Zack Galifianakis playing the exact same character he did in The Hangover, who now prefers to hit weed instead of cards).

The two characters fight, get into a sticky situation, get out of said situation, drive farther, fight, get into a sticky situation, get out of said situation, repeat x 10, roll credits.

So, here’s my problem: why aren’t contemporary American comedies really comedies anymore?  They are action comedies. Which, in the case of Due Date, involves punching a 10-year-old in the stomach, running a car off a bridge, stealing a border patrol car, getting shot in the leg, and drinking a dead man's ashes, among other things.

Why can’t comedy just be comedy?  What’s with this recent trend of having comedic characters run and jump and scream and fist fight and car chase each other around?  To me, it’s getting old, not to mention unoriginal.

The Hangover was, for whatever reason, a phenomenon.  As the third-highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time, I found it overly long and worn out.  “The laughs, for the most part, are pretty plain,” I said in my original review. That is, of course, save Galifianakis’ performance and the film’s closing credit sequence.

Galifianakis became an overnight sensation from playing that overweight man-child.  But what makes him think he can keep coasting by simply repeating the role?  Watching Due Date, in which very few jokes actually garner a laughing response, I cringed at Galifianakis’ wasted performance.  He isn’t funny, he’s just on repeat. You want funny, check out his segment “Between Two Ferns” on

The way I ended the conversation with my friend is the way I’ll end this review.  I’m not saying you are stupid for wanting to see Due Date.  I’m saying that thousands of people spend millions of dollars on movies that treat them like they are fucking four years old.  But…why?  D

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