Failure to Launch (2006)
User ReviewsReview this title
The performances by the supporting cast were delightful and the best of the movie - especially Kathy Bates and Zooey Deschanel. While the chemistry between the leads was lacking spark, their performances were still fun to watch.
The critics need to relax a little and not expect searing dramatic performances from romantic chic flicks!
Every actor in this cast, including Terry Bradshaw, a former football player, is fantastic.
In fact, why can Terry Bradshaw, a former football player, act better than professional Hollywood writers can write? This script is a mess. Scenes are short and borderline incoherent, or so dumb as to be targeted at an audience too young to care about romance. What's the point of putting goofy scenes, like the fake bird fake CPR scene, a scene that every seven year old in the audience will wake up for, in an alleged "romantic" comedy? There's no romance here. None. Zero. Zip. How do you put two such beautiful, sexy, charismatic actors -- Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker -- in a movie, and yet have absolutely zero romance or heat or sexual chemistry in the movie? I mean, you'd really have to be trying to make a movie this erotically neutered with two such stars.
Nothing here makes much of any sense at all. The scenes are a jumble of failed ideas quickly abandoned. The direction and editing are nil.
A few scenes are ridiculous and childish. Matthew McConaughey is repeatedly attacked by wild animals. These scenes just never take off.
A few scenes are painful.
MM takes SJP on a date on someone else's boat, pretending that it's his. He's caught, and has to run away. Is he supposed to be such a tacky character? Why is SJP supposed to fall in love with him? After MM discovers that his parents have been paying SJP to date him (this isn't a spoiler; this plot device is revealed early on), he uses a particularly crude word to tell her to go away. It's a believable reaction, but since everything else in the movie is so unbelievable, it's just awkward and does not fit.
Then there is the scene where one group of characters spies on another couple of characters via webcams. It's meant to be heartwarming, but it's just utterly unbelievable and really creepy. Whoever scripted this scene is tone deaf.
And a few scenes are just plain bizarre, as if they came from another movie.
This is such a shame. The actors were up for it, but the script writers and director gave them nothing to work with.
I'm not going to delve into the hows and whys of what made this movie so terrible because frankly I don't want to relive this picture. Just suffice it to say that yes, my wife and I did finish the movie. In the same way that you wouldn't turn away from a plane crash. But we both spent a majority of the time mouths agape or laughing out loud at something they didn't intend to be funny.
SPOILER ALERT *******
In the closing minutes, when McConaughey fell into the ocean, I made a prediction out loud that went like this:
"OK, let me guess ... a female dolphin, wearing lipstick, is going to swim up to McConaughey and instantly fall in love with him and start trying to hump him because let's face it, McConaughey is the most humpable thing in the universe (I said in a snarky way.)
And then .... McConaughey will yell in a panic to Sarah Jessica Parker "if you're gonna do something, do it faaAaaaaast! This fish looks horny!" Then a Screaming Sarah will throw a life-preserver, hit Matthew in the head, knock him out and have to dive in herself to save him. Meanwhile the boat drifts off into the sunset without them so a pod of adoring dolphins carries our two nitwits ashore with baby dolphins leading the way, throwing rose pedals."
OK, so I got the lipstick part wrong. And it didn't go quite as wacky as I predicted. But I got close enough that my Wife was like OH MY GOD - HOW could you possibly know that?!"
I told her I tried to think of the most asinine, ridiculous, wacky, cheesy, fifth grade, horrible idea I felt that Hollywood could possibly conjure up - then doubled it. That's how bad this movie is.
In closing : we should all slap a class-action suit on everyone involved with this picture and force them out of entertainment forever.
Matthew McConaughey as Tripp is off-putting to watch, and his accent so thick it is often difficult to understand what he is saying and baffling, since no one else in the film, including his parents, share his accent. As for the character, he isn't given a personality or any depth, except for a sledge-hammered back story about a dead fiancée, which is dropped in towards the end of the film. Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) repeatedly mentions how sweet Tripp is, but this sweetness must be going on off screen, as on screen he is constantly a jerk. There is also no chemistry between McConaughey and Parker which makes the so-called romance hard to notice. If it is there at all.
Paula is given even less personality than Tripp. All we know about her is that she gets men to move out of their parents' home professionally. She only refers to Tripp in terms of the job, so when after about half an hour we have to be told Paula has feelings for Tripp, it is a surprise. It certainly isn't in the performance or the dialogue. It would help if we saw she doing her job before being hired in to help Tripp. As it is, it is very confusing how she is so successful since she utterly fails in every aspect of her job with Tripp. And realising she is failing in her job, she sleeps with Tripp for money. She becomes a prostitute, and doesn't bat an eyelid. How is this not an important plot development?
The film generally doesn't make sense and the scenes in which Tripp is attacked by a chipmunk/dolphin/lizard seem to have wandered in from a different genre, and fail to amuse. However, the scene in which Kit, Paula's house-mate, tries to buy a gun is very funny, the only funny moment of the film, mainly due to the performance by the salesman (Rob Corddry).
As for the supporting cast, Kathy Bates as Tripp's mum hams it up and Zooey Deschanel as Paula's house-mate phones in her usual tediously bored performance this is obviously her selling point, but strangely enough, a bored actor is boring to watch.
Basically, Failure To Launch is an entirely disengaging film and forgets to actually put any romance in between the set-up and the finale.
I don't mind romantic comedies, but this is drivel. Even the "funny" moments; those slapstick scenes that are added to films to make you laugh uproariously, barely raised a smile (a chipmunk bit his finger hysterical. A lizard bit his hand and he falls on his back hilarious).
This film has no redeeming features whatsoever and even the inclusion of such comic genii as Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker couldn't get it going. What did I expect though, going to see a film with those two hams in the starring roles, they actually make Courteney Cox look funny. In my defence though, one night a week I do Support Work and my disabled employer wanted to go to the cinema. There was nothing on we hadn't already seen so we took a chance on this. Well, even he thought it was turd. I thought he was going to sack me!
If you want my advice, don't waste your time with this nonentity. I'd rather nail my eyelids to the floor than sit through this tripe again.
This is, arguably, the worst romantic comedy ever made. There is no witty repartee between characters, no situational comedy, no anything. Well, I take that back; you do get Terry Bradshaw's backside, but that is so gratuitous that it's not even worth a chuckle. Simply terrible film-making. If you read this, and still see the movie, you must hate yourself -- no other explanation would suffice.
As others have commented, the only attempted source of laughs in the script is the animal humor -- a few pointless, childish "jokes" where Matthew M. gets "attacked" by a chipmunk, dolphin, etc. It's as if the script was written by a four year-old -- and a wooden four year-old at that. It's hard to imagine a movie being *worse* than this. No way is this a 5.5 star flick -- even Sarah Jessica Parker could only rate this a 2-star effort. BE WARNED!!
Grade: C (But only for Zooey's sake, I loved her!)
Poor Terry Bradshaw, he did okay until he agreed to prance around naked for cheap laughs. You how some movies go in and out in their quality? This one never comes out of the steaming pile that it is. I couldn't even find the director's name on the closing credits (probably too embarrassed).
Don't even waste a rental on this dreck!
Two words . . .
That's right . . . more than one. In this movie. Were you thinking "Must Love Dogs" or "The Wedding Date?" Think "Caddyshack" without the appeal.
Four separate animatronic animals appeared, one in a subplot which provided neither support nor counterpoint to the purported "main plot" (the romance between SJP & MM).
I wanted to like these subplot sections. Even with excessive sweat and scary, crazy eyes, I just love Bradley Cooper, but no actor on earth could have saved this movie.
If even one of these animatronic monstrosities had appeared in a trailer, I would have saved my $8. Maybe the failure was in marketing a low-ball comedy as a romantic comedy.
I don't ask that a romantic comedy be high art, but this was barely a romantic comedy at all.
While watching this movie I had the feeling that they must have rushed the production just to get it made. There are tons of errors and hardly a single thought is completed. All of the actors seem as though they would rather be somewhere else. It is not funny, clever or entertaining. Don't be drawn in by the trailer or any previews of this movie. It is the bottom of the barrel.
Another decent but sometimes strained interference with love film. I can think of two more classic recent ones, "Hitch" and "Heartbreaker," and this doesn't rise to those modest heights.
The impressive star of the two leads is the lesser name, charming and gorgeous Matthew McConaughey, who is not just believable but also compelling (which is something different). Across from him is the Sex and the City mega-star, Sarah Jessica Parker, who is good, and who does the job as a would-be pretend girlfriend who really does fall in love. Or not. You'll see.
The whole hook is an obvious one--first the woman is hired to make the man fall enough in love with him that he'll finally move out of his parents house. Then she'll collect her fee and boogie. But no, we know from the get-go, as with any screwball comedy, that the two leads are destined to be together. But when one learns the other's secret, what true love there was goes on the rocks. This is exactly what the other two films (above) did, and I'm sure it's a burgeoning new genre.
What drags it down a bit are the side plots and side characters. Many of these are good or even terrific one way or another, but it's all patched together and a little lightweight and thin. The best of these is Parker's roommate, played with Oscar-worthy dreariness by Zooey Deschanel (who also appeared in "(500) Days of Summer"). But the sideshows of the mockingbird, the biting dolphin, and even the baroque arrangement with the t.v. monitors in the final scenes are all a little clunky. Good on paper, maybe, but in the end you have to make yourself enjoy the best of it all, which will make you laugh and have fun.
There are two things that bothered me. One is the silly subplot about the animals who kept biting McConaughey's character (huh??), and the scene near the end where Trip's "friends" were watching the couple on video screens in an internet cafe, and then were joined by nearly all of the patrons in the cafe. That scene made me squirm. I didn't find it at all funny...it also went on too long.
In a nutshell, this was a good enough movie...probably not a memorable one, but a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening.
As for Sarah Jessica Parker. Well, her ability to portray emotions ranges from clutching her chest to clutching her stomach. And when is this 40+ year old woman going to stop squealing like a stuck pig. Girls in middle school are able to express themselves better.
The male actors were, well, unimpressive at best.
The story line could've have been developed a lot more, with interesting banter and twists and turns. But it wasn't. Yet there were times when there were some good one-liners.
For a inexpensive matinée, why not. For a full priced movie ticket...
"Failure to Launch" is a silly and predictable romance, but entertains only because of the excellent cast. There is a great chemistry among the actors and actresses of this movie, keeping the interest of the viewer, in spite of a terrible and forgettable screenplay. The gorgeous Zooey Deschanel is the best in this flick performing Kit, the funny and complicated roommate of Paula. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Armações do Amor" ("Tricks of Love")
Save yourself the trouble and just rewatch any other romantic comedy that follows the same pattern: Person A like Person B. Person B likes Person A. Person B finds out that Person A is lying to him/her. Person B somehow makes it all better. Persons A and B live happily ever after in spite of all the grand lies.
At this point, I'm trying to convince everyone I know to skip every future Matthew McConaughey film until someone makes Dazed and Confused 2: Dazed-er and Confused-er...