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The Failure to Launch phenomenon
Dating in the new millennium
Moviefone.com Unscripted with Matthew McConaughey and Terry Bradshaw
The Failure to Launch contest
“Matthew McConaughey is Tripp, a 35 year old who still lives with his parents. And who can blame him? It’s free, he’s got a great room, and mom (Kathy Bates) does the laundry. Desperate to get him out of the house, his parents hire a gorgeous woman, Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), to give him a little…push. They just didn’t expect Tripp would push back! Zooey Deschanel, Terry Bradshaw, and Alias’ Bradley Cooper co-star in this romantic battle of wills that proves there’s no place like home.”
“Failure to Launch” is rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and language.
“Failure to Launch” is trifle – fluffy but unfortunately only occasionally funny. McConaughey displays the easy charm and screen presence that made him a movie star and Parker is serviceable enough. Perhaps the biggest problem with either of the leads is that the supporting actors are almost universally more entertaining than either of them. Deschanel as Paula’s roommate Kit is extremely dry, and though not particularly original, her scenes are still entertaining. Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw as Trip’s parents bring a naturalistic charm to the film, and are responsible for the film’s warmest scenes.
And it’s good that it is warm, because it’s not funny. It is occasionally witty, but not very often. It seems the filmmakers realized that as well as they fill the frequent dry spells with physical comedy that doesn’t really fit the tone of the movie, particularly the dry coolness Trip exudes. There is a running gag about animals attacking or in some way terrorizing the various characters that is slightly funny at first, but gets less so as the film goes on and despite a great attempt by the writers, never really fits.
There’s nothing new here, and not much that’s funny, but it’s fluffy enough to make for a decent date film.
The DVD has a pretty good selection of bonus features. There’s your standard “making of” feature and theatrical trailer. Also included are a couple of documentaries including one entitled “The Failure to Launch Phenomenon”. In this video, real-life 30 year olds discuss why they choose to live at home. Unsurprisingly, none of them look like McConaughey. Meanwhile their parents and family members say why they’re OK with the guys growing older, childless, and alone. The second video is called “Dating in the New Millennium”. It discusses online dating and other recent trends. The bonus features are rounded out by a couple of promotional videos. The first is “Moviefone.com Unscripted with Matthew McConaughey and Terry Bradshaw”. In this online video, the two actors interview each other with questions from fans on the internet. The second video features the “Failure to Launch Contest” where people submitted friends or family who needed a good boot out of the nest. A couple of the actors interviewed the finalists and chose the winner. Unfortunately, it sounds better in theory than it works in reality. The video is rather boring.