Friday, November 5, 2010

Quick Bite: Due Date

Which is a more horrific public spectacle, a masturbating man or a masturbating dog? Luckily, Due Date, which opens tonight, spares us deliberation by featuring both!  The Hangover and Old School might be considered absurd yet adept exercises in potty humor and wry commentaries on male fantasy, but Phillips’ tone is as offensive as it is abject in his latest flick. Galifianakis is a delusional aspiring actor from the sticks paired against Downey in a role that’s even more unlikable than Tony Stark (which I thought was impossible).  Due Date aims to be a hip, grittier, even more ridiculous Planes, Trains and Automobiles (although I think that film dropped more F-bombs), but without the legendary comedic chops of Candy and Martin and a cheeky Hughes script, its heartless and weak set up quickly devolves into cruelty to animals, children and worst of all, comedy. 

Thrown together by a convoluted scenario not worth rehashing, two strangers, Ethan (Galifianakis) and Peter (Downey, Jr.), commence on a near penniless road trip from Atlanta to LA with the hopes of arriving in time for Peter’s wife’s scheduled Caesarian and the birth of his first child.  Ethan is an uneven character, and not one of Galifianakis’ better performances. Let’s hope he regains his balance, because frankly, I love that guy.  Downey, Jr. as Ethan struggles admirably to listen to his stunted conscience in the midst of the most annoying human he’s ever met, but Peter and Ethan’s imminent consummation is no reward for sitting through serious car crashes, standard pot-smoking jokes and Ethan’s sassy walk and French bulldog which are supposed to make us think he’s gay or something…and “joke” ends there.  The script is padded with literary references and some OK stuff (Ethan: “I have 90 friends on Facebook, but 12 are pending”) and Ethan’s character does run a 2 ½ Men fan site which is an amusing concept because that is the worst show ever created, but it’s not enough to make the flick more than merely tolerable at times.  Peter relays some advice to Ethan concerning his unrealistic aspirations to “make it” in Hollywood, “Pray you avoid it.” Unfortunately, that also applies to this disappointing and lifeless road trip romp.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

1 comment:

Nick said...

Ah, should have figured. Thanks for the heads up, cream cheese.