21 March 2006 | MovieManMenzel
"Failure to Launch" is a very typical date movie which really doesn't add anything new to an already overdone genre.
A 35 year old guy Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) still lives at home with his parents and never wants to move out on his own. Tripp's parents Al (Terry Bradshaw) and Sue (Kathy Bates) are sick of him living at home and want to see their son grow up and move on with his life. So one day after hearing a success story for their neighbors, Sue and Al decide that they will hire a woman named Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) who will help motivate and help make Tripp want to move out of the house and start his own life. Comedy and romance ensue
"Failure to Launch" isn't a bad film by any means but it isn't a great film either. This film is a very typical and average romantic comedy. Some of the jokes work and some don't. When watching this film I felt this movie was almost the exact same thing as "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" which I think was a pretty creative and very funny romantic comedy. The problem with "Failure" is that its pretty much the same film. I literally felt like I was watching the sequel called "How to Get A Guy to Move Out of His Parents Place in 10 Days".
The only thing that made this film seem remotely different from "How to Lose A Guy" was Zooey Deschannel's character Kit who as many stated stole the show. I felt the Kit character introduced a character that wasn't seen in most typical romantic comedies. This depressing and sarcastic roommate who wanted to kill the mocking bird that sat outside her window. The character Kit was a very interesting one and brought some unique humor to the film. This character also stole every scene she was in and my favorite scene of the film was where Kit tries to buy a gun.
The main problem with the jokes in the film was the fact that they were so predictable and were over used. The whole animals biting people joke was used 4 times in the film. I felt like the joke barely worked the first time and just seemed to silly for this type of film. Not to mention, the naked butt scene which I felt was just too childish for this film. The jokes along with the storyline was very predictable and anyone who has seen at least one or two romantic comedies could tell you where the film was heading and what was going to happen next.
Matthew McCanaughey pretty much plays the same role in every romantic comedy. He is the pretty boy who works out all the time and loves the ladies. He does a decent job here but this role isn't a stretch for him since the same character he played in the last few movies he starred in. Sarah Jessica Parker does a decent job as Paula although I have a hard time imagining anyone falling in love with Sarah Jessica Parker because I don't find her attractive at all. I would have rather seen Kate Hudson play this role or hell maybe even someone like Anna Faris or Scarlett Johansson. Zooey Deschannel, who I absolutely love, is the best character in the film. Her weird sense of humor and fetishes save this movie from being overly typical. She is a great actress I just hope she does more independent films than mainstream films like this one. And finally Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates do a decent job in this film. But as we all know Bates is capable of doing much better material.
Tom Dey is the man responsible for directing "Failure to Launch". Dey is also responsible for directing "Shanghai Noon" which was a decent action comedy and the horrible "Showtime" with Eddie Murphy and Robert DeNiro. I can't really say that his directing technique is that great and as a director he seems like he makes very mediocre films. There isn't much about "Failure" that is fresh and original nor is there any type of film or camera work that is unique or well shot.
In the end, "Failure to Launch" is more of the same. It's your typical romantic comedy which has some laughs and the same old Hollywood ending. I think if the script was a little more creative than it would have been a great romantic comedy instead of being just like almost every other romantic comedies that I have seen throughout the years. If you're a big fan of romantic comedies you should see this film in the theater because you will probably really like it. If your not I would wait for DVD. I didn't hate this film like I thought I was based on the reviews for it but I just found it very typical. If the movie focused more on the supporting characters than the main ones I feel this film would have been more of a success but hey I'm not the director so I didn't have a say in the matter.
MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Failure to Launch" is a 6/10. A "How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days" rip-off with similar but not as fun characters.