DUE DATE: The Film Babble Blog Review

DUE DATE (Dir. Todd Phillips, 2010)

As surely every critic has said this is essentially a remake of PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES except the trains are replaced with drugs and much more scatological humor.

In the Steve Martin role is Robert Downey Jr. who is trying to get from Atlanta to Los Angeles for his wife’s c-section and he’s saddled with Zack Galifinakis in the John Candy role.

Galifianakis is an air-headed pot-smoking eccentric with a perm toting around a small dog who dreams of going to Hollywood to become an actor.

Downey Jr. is, uh, I forget his profession, but he’s an uptight jerk.

Mix in Michelle Monaghan as Downey Jr.’s pregnant wife and cameos from Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Danny McBride (the only one who’s slightly funny here), and RZA and you’ve got yourself a wasted cast.

Downey Jr. and Galifianakis wreck a rental car, get in a high speed chase in a stolen Mexican security vehicle, and get stoned as well as other not worth mentioning shenanigans.

All the while Galifianakis has his recently deceased father’s ashes in a coffee can. Inevitably somebody accidentally brews it as coffee. This actually results in one of the few good lines when Galifianakis says: “Well, that’s the circle of life – my father enjoyed drinking coffee, and we enjoyed my father AS coffee.”

There are laughs here and there in DUE DATE, but not enough to make this anywhere near a solid comedy.

Like in “The Hangover” Phillips shoots like he’s making a drama with too many close-ups and unnecessary crane shots.

It’s the parts that try to get personal that fall flattest. The much much funnier PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES had a satisfactory sentimental tone in its earned conclusion, but this film’s heart is shoehorned in.

I mean what’s the point of giving Downey Jr. a serious monologue about how his father left when he was a kid? Oh yeah, I remember – it was a set-up to a lame joke by Galifianakis about how his father wouldn’t do that because he loved him. Ugh.

There’s also the badly handled subplot that Downey Jr. gets into his mind that his wife may have cheated on him with his best friend Foxx. Again that’s only there to set up another lame joke.

Both Downey Jr. and Galifianakis are likable credible actors, but here they are 2 guys that most people would want to stay away from. The same can be said about the movie.

But hey! If you like humor about slugging kids in the gut or masturbating dogs – this may be the movie for you.

More later…

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