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Movie Review: Due Date

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Written 11/3/10

Comedies are usually a hit or miss, and I think Todd Phillips can rest assured he has nothing to worry about. With films that stem back to ROAD TRIP, OLD SCHOOL, STARSKY & HUTCH, and last but not least, last year’s financially successful ‘R’ rated comedy film to date - THE HANGOVER, Mr. Phillips has laid yet another one of his giggly films upon us. DUE DATE is your typical odd-ball story which pairs Robert Downey, Jr. and Zack Galifianakis on a journey which most of us have encountered at some point or another, however, never to a degree which followed Peter Highman (Downey, Jr.), a successful Architect, as a daddy-to-be whose wife's due date is just five days away. In the midst of rushing to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan – on what morphs into a unique cross-country road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, question deep friendships and test Peter’s tolerance.

My verdict on this film – good one! I do recommend for anyone entering this film to please suspend reality and not expect an academy award winning piece. Phillips isn’t really known to present cinematic classics; however, this man has been tightening up within a genre that’s usually tough. It’s one thing making your friends, family or co-workers laugh, but when translating material in written form into a visual piece for a general audience is not easy. Phillips has been able to master the art of teaming good writing with talent, and his result is always a home-run. His form of work is an acquired taste and perhaps not for everyone – I have heard folks shit on his work, but speaking for myself and perhaps everyone else who actually
HAS a sense-of-humor, the guy knows what he’s doing. When identifying the character of “Peter Highman,” I don’t think it could have been given to anyone else but Robert Downy, Jr. The guy’s real life history itself sort of mirrored what Peter’s character is like in this film. You know the unstoppable guy who’s always on the go, short-fused and pretty insecure due to his past. After a handful of serious conversations with “Ethan Trebplay,” it becomes apparent why Peter’s so adamant to make it to Los Angeles in time for his child’s birth. Although rushed, I enjoyed how Phillips mapped out Peter’s build-up which helped ME, at least, understand him better. The same applies to “Ethan” who for some reason or another resembled every single character played by Galifianakis. Having seen many of his interviews and past jobs, the hustle in this man’s life seemed pretty stiff on any angle he’d approach and seeing as a Hollywood life-style runs parallel to chaos, Ethan’s characteristics and personality couldn’t have been any closer to Zack. Therefore, having covered both to an extent where actors fit perfectly, along with some twisted subplots pertaining to Daddy-hood/and or issues, I personally thought it worked well.

Like most of Todd’s films, this one’s also blessed with great one-liners. It’s become somewhat of a demand for any film with his name behind it – or Judd Apatow’s – to have that kind of spark. To be honest, I’m betting most in the movie community actually expect it nowadays. Comedy is more than just idiotic characters doing idiotic things, therefore, it’s a bar that’s been raised and it started a few years ago when most movie freaks were looking for something more rather than the typical movie-spoof comedies which are usually green-lit on an annual basis. When it comes to these movie-spoof comedies, I think the first (1st) SCARY MOVIE is the only one which to date stands on its own and perhaps a comedy classic – anything else is simply mediocre and Hollywood tax write-offs. Todd’s films took some time to gain a respect among those who seek and respect good humor films, but nowadays it’s no secret he’s done it. Movie-spoof comedies already have a format or layout, it’s just a matter of rearranging writing to make it funny and that’s that! Todd’s films usually stand alone and although they may serve the typical cliche of “all working out in the end,” they work, they make you laugh and last but not least, they have you talking about them for a while. Just today, I text’d a friend of mine who also screened the film saying I’m planning on changing my name to “Ethan Tremblay.” Once you see this goofy fuck, you’ll find it just as funny as she did – especially with a classic scene pertaining to displaying acting head-shots!

Overall, it’s fun, funny and great to watch with someone who shares the same kind of humor. DUE DATE also has some pretty good short roles which star Jamie Foxx, Juliet Lewis and an always hilarious Danny McBride.



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