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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Failure to Launch 

This movie was much less formulaic than I had anticipated, with unexpected spurts of slapstick and wonderfully entertaining supporting characters. The plot itself, while admittedly implausible, was still refreshingly new if nothing else, which made this movie both surprising and funny. I definitely recommend it for a date movie or all girls excursion.

Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) is 35 years old, has a stable job that he enjoys, and an exceptionally easy time picking up women. He also has the perfect mechanism by which to dump said women without actually having to do the dumping--anytime a woman starts to get too serious about him, he takes her home to his place whereupon she is horrified to discover that he still lives with his parents. Apparently he is not alone in his parental dependence, however, as his two best friends, Demo (Bradley Cooper) and Ace (Justin Bartha) also live with their parents but for very different and completely understandable reasons. Tripp's parents have finally decided that they would rather have their house to themselves and enjoy their retirement, so they hire Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) to make Tripp fall in love with her, thus boosting his confidence and motivating him to move out of the house...whereupon Paula will pulverize his heart and newly-formed confidence by promptly breaking up with him. Haha! But, you know, his parents will have him out of the house so there is a silver lining to this cloud. Anyway, Paula realizes immediately that Tripp is not her normal client. He's not a computer geek, isn't obsessed with Star Wars, enjoys a myriad of athletic outdoor activities, and is of course a total babe. Rather than bother with attempting to find out why this seemingly confident and well-adjusted man is unable to move out of his parents' house, Paula simply goes through the normal routine: have a memorable first meeting, pretend to enjoy activities that he likes, have him comfort her through an emotional crisis, and let him teach her something. Apparently after a client has completed all of these steps, he is not only in love with Paula but is ready to move out of his parents' house. And since Tripp seems to be cruising through all the steps much too easily for the program to be working, Paula attempts to get to know this complicated guy a little better. No, she doesn't do that. She rubber stamps him through all the steps and then is confused when the results are not what she expected.

As I said, the plot itself is just a tad implausible, but regardless it was still fun to watch. More than anything else, the supporting characters made this movie funny. There were several "when animals attack" subplots that were completely unexpected and made me laugh out loud just for the silliness of it all, and both Tripp's friends and Paula's roommate, Kit (Zooey Deschanel) were consistently hysterical--mostly because they were exaggerated, but again, unexpectedly so.

I really enjoyed this movie because it was refreshingly original and didn't take itself seriously in the least. The entire tone of the movie was carefree and lighthearted, and I had fun watching it. While it's not the funniest romantic comedy I have ever seen, it is one of the better ones that have come out lately. Funny, cute, worth the money.


At 5:12 PM, Blogger The Phoenix said...

Great review...I thought it was just going to be another boring romantic comedy. The commercials and trailers sometimes don't do a movie justice.


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