6 August 2012 | secondtake
Romantic comedy with a clever hook and some cute acting but not too much else!
Failure to Launch (2006)
Another decent but sometimes strained interference with love film. I can think of two more classic recent ones, "Hitch" and "Heartbreaker," and this doesn't rise to those modest heights.
The impressive star of the two leads is the lesser name, charming and gorgeous Matthew McConaughey, who is not just believable but also compelling (which is something different). Across from him is the Sex and the City mega-star, Sarah Jessica Parker, who is good, and who does the job as a would-be pretend girlfriend who really does fall in love. Or not. You'll see.
The whole hook is an obvious one--first the woman is hired to make the man fall enough in love with him that he'll finally move out of his parents house. Then she'll collect her fee and boogie. But no, we know from the get-go, as with any screwball comedy, that the two leads are destined to be together. But when one learns the other's secret, what true love there was goes on the rocks. This is exactly what the other two films (above) did, and I'm sure it's a burgeoning new genre.
What drags it down a bit are the side plots and side characters. Many of these are good or even terrific one way or another, but it's all patched together and a little lightweight and thin. The best of these is Parker's roommate, played with Oscar-worthy dreariness by Zooey Deschanel (who also appeared in "(500) Days of Summer"). But the sideshows of the mockingbird, the biting dolphin, and even the baroque arrangement with the t.v. monitors in the final scenes are all a little clunky. Good on paper, maybe, but in the end you have to make yourself enjoy the best of it all, which will make you laugh and have fun.