ABC Film Challenge – 00’s Movies – F – Failure to Launch (2006) Movie review


Director: Tom Dey

Writer: Tom J Astle, Matt Ember (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Barthe, Bradley Cooper, Terry Bradshaw, Kathy Bates

Plot: A thirty-something is still living with his parents until they hire an interventionist to help him graduate out of the house. That’s when the fun begins.

Tagline – To leave the nest, some men just need a little push.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Failure to Launch starts as Tripp (McConaughey) who meets women all the time, taking them back home, to his parents home, Al (Bradshaw) and Sue (Bates) who are looking to get him out the home, which is two best friend Ace (Bartha) and Demo (Cooper) haven’t done either.

When Al and Sue decide to hire Paula (Parker) to help Tripp move out using her own routine to push them out of the home, only this time she starts to fall for him.

Thoughts on Failure to Launch

Characters – Tripp is in his mid-30s, he looks to meet women all the time, hang out with friends, but he still lives at home, using that as a way to break-up with the women. He meets Paula for the latest part of his women, only to start to fall for her, only to learn the truth and try to turn the tables on her. Paula has made a career out of helping men move out of their parents homes, she has done it for a few years, following her strict rules, only she starts to fall for him, breaking his rules and wanting to make more of it. Both have been damaged from relationships before, where they have seen things change for them, as to why they are working that way. Kit, Ace and Demo fill up the best friends roles through the film, getting the odd laugh along the way.

PerformancesMatthew McConaughey has become overly comfortable in the rom com genre, which he coasts through this role, not getting the laughs he would once have gotten. Sarah Jessica Parker doesn’t seem to fit this role either, this is mostly because both the main characters seem truly unbelievable. The supporting casts are the best part of the film, getting the laughs the leads fail to capture.

StoryThe story here follows a mid-30s year guy that is a womanizer, only he still lives with his parents, who hire a woman to help him move out, only he learns what is going on and turns it on its head. This main start of the story is basic, bland and boring, because Tripp is portrayed as a slacker, not showing us the series reason why he has closed off, which would be a big part of the motivation, instead of being a small twist in the main story late on, which would make it perfectly clear why he would be where he is. Paula is a lot like Hitch was too, which relies on one character believe they know best.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy doesn’t hit that much in this film, while the romance does seem overly fake and unrealistic.

SettingsThe film does want to use the everyday settings to show how these people need the push, but it fails to show us what the people do for a living.

Scene of the Movie – The make up plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many animal attacks.

Final Thoughts Failure to Launch is one of the basic romantic comedies out there, it doesn’t do anything new to the genre, while getting a few supporting laughs, in a weak romantic storyline, that misses the main points which would get a bigger emotional impact on the story.

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