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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Failure To Launch (Theatrical Film Review)

Failure to Launch


Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel, Terry Bradshaw, Kathy Bates

Director: Tom Dey

Critic's rating: 2 out of 10


Review by Chuck O'Leary


If Matthew McConaughey is as nice of a guy as most people say, I feel kind of bad that I have to keep giving most of his movies such negative reviews.  I want to like McConaughey, but his terrible taste in scripts makes it nearly impossible to write anything nice.


Case in point, Failure to Launch, a dismal comedy without a single laugh.  Playing like a watered-down entry in the current trend of arrested-development comedies such as The 40-Year-old Virgin and Wedding Crashers, the premise of Failure to Launch has promise, but a decent premise turns out to be the only thing this movie has.  It's a total failure on all other counts. 


You know a movie's in trouble when its most memorable moment comes when Terry Bradshaw appears bare-assed.  And you thought The Hills Have Eyes was scary.


McConaughey is Tripp, a 35-year-old boat salesman who still lives at home with his parents (Bradshaw and Kathy Bates).  But as played by McConaughey, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Tripp.  He's handsome, employed, in great shape and has excellent social skills.  The horrible screenplay by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember -- this is their first feature-film script and hopefully their last -- is too shallow to give Tripp any kind of mental illness or addiction issues that would normally be the cause of somebody of his age still residing with his parents.  Therefore, Tripp comes across as a boring, carefree leech.


Wanting to provide Tripp with some incentive to venture out on his own, the parents hire Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), a single woman who makes a living pretending to be the girlfriend of guys like Tripp in hopes of giving them enough confidence and motivation to leave the nest.  Stupidly, she supposedly gives her male clients all this extra confidence without ever sleeping with any of them.  Well, that's until she starts having genuine feelings toward the hunky Tripp.  Big surprise.


Relentlessly predictable and painfully unfunny, Failure to Launch exhibits the feel of an awful 90-minute pilot for a sitcom too bad to ever air.


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