Because my last review was of a very dramatic film today I chose to watch a light romantic-comedy, Failure to Launch, while drinking some Earl Grey tea. The movie stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew McConaughey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Terry Bradshaw, and Kathy Bates. For those of you who have not seen the film, it is about a mid-thirties man, Tripp (McConaughey), that is still living with his parents (Bradshaw/Bates). His parents hire a woman, Paula (Parker) to simulate a relationship with their son so that he gains the confidence to move out of their home. Crazy friends mean antics will ensue. Shall we?
*Basically all of my reviews will have SPOILER ALERTS*
(ALMOST) SNEAK ATTACK. I like how the movie begins, it takes the sneak attack approach of letting the audience know the main character is still living with his parents. I mean, obviously most people know that going into the movie, but still, it would be a nice surprise for those who have no clue what they’re about to watch. The cherry on top is when Terry Bradshaw is just walks in on Tripp and his special-lady-friend.
THE SUPER MEET-CUTE. What woman on earth brings coffee to random furniture store employees just so they let her nap in a leather recliner??? That’s the first tip off that this is a complete set-up. Or else, those would be really expensive naps.
ZOOEY DESCHANEL’S CHARACTER IS EVERYTHING I WANT TO BE IN THIS WORLD. First of all, Champagne Thursday… and Friday. Usually not a week goes by that I can’t think of a situation in which I could quote her character. She is very antisocial and she just calls it like she sees it. Everybody should have a friend like that.
TRIPP’S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS NEPHEW IS THE MOST ADORABLE THING. Those two playing videogames with Tripp’s friends is probably one of my favorite scenes. Then when Tripp’s mom comes in… What son refers to his mom as “baby”? Even with that southern charm??? Bradley Cooper has the best line in the scene after Tripp’s mom gives him… chores *shudders*: “Something’s wrong with your mom”. Cue Aretha Franklin’s RESPECT.
PAULA IS PERFECT AT THEIR FIRST DATE. “I assume this technique has worked in the past?” And she actually WANTS to eat food. Then she turns around to save Tripp’s career, “She certainly is yar”. She continuously puts Tripp in his place when he tries to impress her. Tripp never stood a chance.
FIRST YOGA, THEN MOUNTAIN BIKING? Thank you for not classifying gender-specific activities. Also, perfect settings to see friendship interactions and help discuss the plot and what is happening. Tripp and Demo are like a James Potter and Sirius Black pairing. Ace is definitely their Remus Lupin, always more cautious and sensible. Demo is the traveling risk-taker, at one with nature. But when it really matters, they both do whatever they have to for their friend. Maybe they don’t give the best advice, but if they did this movie would probably lose the comedy.
THE METAPHOR OF NATURE REBELLING AGAINST TRIPP. Tripp kept pushing and pushing to give that chipmunk some chocolate, just like he keeps pushing and pushing his relationships to only have fun and shy away from the seriousness. Then you also have Kit’s rivalry with the mockingbird. Is it meant to represent her unwillingness to interact with the human population? She is psycho about this bird and I love it. I hate birds too.
THE COUPLE BOAT SHOPPING. “You’re a ‘power guy’? Guys who drink Kahlua and cream are not ‘power guys’, honey.” I think that’s really all that needs to be said about them.
PAINTBALL AS A CURE FOR SADNESS. It just shows how so awesome the three guys are, they bring a girl who’s never played paintball before on their team to cheer her up. And it’s not just a friendly match, they are up against paintballing champions, ones that are jerks who think girls can’t win in paintball. “WHO’S LAUGHING NOW? *finger roll*” Do they seriously think she’d rather be shopping than playing? Also, did they have to give her the pink gun? Not going to lie, I would probably be Paula in this situation: just running and hiding behind every available obstacle, “You will not have died in vain”.
KIT AND ACE’S RELATIONSHIP. It is a perfect example of men wanting women who are indifferent/don’t want them. In this situation it is adorable, but in real life it is pathetic. Why would you want to waste your time trying to change a person’s mind and make them think you’re good enough? To someone else, you already are good enough. But Kit is perfect, so I have a hard time being disappointed in Ace.
SERIOUSLY TRIPP? SHE LOOKS AT YOU DIFFERENTLY AND YOU RUN FOR THE HILLS? Although I love how Paula thinks she’s got the relationship under control and Tripp is like NOPE. Tripp seriously has problems, because he looks at her like “You’re the best thing that’s happened to me, but you looked at me with emotion so it’s over”. Paula has the most awkward recovery when Tripp introduces her to his parents. Aaaaaand now if he wants to dump Paula, he’s going to have to man up. Taking your girlfriends home to see that you live with your parents so they break up with you is a cowardly way out.
SERIOUSLY PAULA? SEX TO KEEP A MAN INTERESTED? A. Prostitution in this case. B. That’s almost as bad as telling a man you’re pregnant to keep him around. Totally not okay with this situation. Way to stick to your morals and rules, Paula. And then Kit is the voice of reason when she and Paula are in the sporting goods store. Sidenote: the gun salesman is my least favorite kind of person. He laughs at Kit when she calls the shotgun shells “bullets”. NOT COOL. Plus he’s a know-it-all. Okay I lied, Kit is not perfect – she didn’t know that To Kill a Mockingbird was a classic American novel.
APPARENTLY ACE HAS NO DIGNITY. Blackmailing Paula to get a date with Kit? No. His date plan was good, though – going to the aquarium. Points for originality. I don’t really like how she doesn’t really give Ace a chance until she finds out he can help her. Way to take advantage of a situation. But apparently almost killing a mockingbird and having a moral crisis really bonds people. And I do love the characters together, just not the circumstances that puts them there. Good thing that this is only a movie and not real life.
WHEN PAULA FINDS OUT WHY TRIPP IS THE WAY HE IS… Cue slap to the forehead. I love how Demo is so chill as he confronts Paula. It is a much better way to play it, especially because Demo is actually supportive of the situation. Placing the scene at a baseball game was brilliant. The excitement in the setting was a good counterbalance to the depressing story about Tripp’s past. But then again, he turns around and tells Tripp everything. Basically defeating the purpose of helping Trip. Sidenote: who does Jeffery actually live with?!?!?!? Why does Tripp only see him on Saturdays? These are the questions that I need answered!!! Also, I relate to Jeffery on a spiritual level, he eats and eats and eats. My kind of guy.
THE PG-13 MOVIE’S ONE F-BOMB. The writer’s couldn’t have placed it in a better spot. It really spoke to the gravity of the betrayal Tripp felt from everyone around him. I can also appreciate how he makes Paula and his parents squirm before he tells them that he knows everything. Serves them right for not being straight with him. Then again, Tripp and Paula never would have meet had that been the case. And then the movie would be nothing.
THE NAKED ROOM. Super awkward. This former NFL star walking around naked… I really don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about this. And then Sue’s (Kathy Bate) fears about the strength of her relationship to Al, that took a turn real fast. So she was focusing her energies on trying to fix Tripp to avoid thinking about her marriage? PLOT TWIST.
THE CLICHE CONFRONTATION. Almost all romantic comedies follow a set pattern, and Failure to Launch is no different. Paula and Tripp’s family and friends all come together to force them to talk it out. Communication is key to relationships, people! Quesiton: how did Demo and Ace catch, tie-up, and imprision Tripp? I would’ve loved to have seen that. And the fact that Ace has all those cameras in his room… Creepy. Anyway, why must Tripp be such a douche-bag? Like, I know that she hurt you, but that’s no reason to act like a 5 year-old. Then, when Ace hooks up his feed to the restaurant’s TV screens? GREAT friends there… And finally, the movie wraps up the nature vs Tripp metaphor. At least they didn’t leave me with that loose end.
Basically, this movie never gets old… So long as you don’t watch it every week. Yes, it has it’s issues and I have my complaints, but I genuinely enjoy watching it. All the sass. For my next movie review, I will probably choose something action/adventure or thriller. Gotta mix it up.