Failure To Launch

"Terrible"

Failure To Launch Review


Sometimes the title of a film can be quite telling. Before you even step foot in the theater you know what to expect. Failure to Launch is one of those films, and as the title indicates, that's not a good thing.

Tripp (Matthew Mcconaughey) suffers from a "failure to launch." No, not that kind. He's 35 years old (going on 16) and still lives at home. With parents Al and Sue (TERRY BRADSHAW and Kathy Bates) willingly catering to his every whim, Tripp has no incentive to launch his life. They cook for him, clean his room, and wash his clothes. Tripp lives rent-free, drives a shiny new Porsche, and has a great job where he captains sailboats. It sounds pretty rough.

The one thing Tripp doesn't have is romance. But before you feel sorry for him (though I'm not sure how you could), Tripp's lack of love is entirely his choice. When his girlfriends get too close, Tripp takes them home to meet the parents. Understandably, the fact that he still lives with them scares most women away. Still, his parents think that once he meets the right girl, he'll finally leave the nest. Al and Sue decide to hire Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), a woman who guarantees that once Tripp falls for her, he'll be out looking for a place of his own.

Paula's deceitful plan is scripted into numerous sequential steps. First, Al and Sue must make things more difficult at home -- no more cleaning, laundry, or dinner. Next, Tripp must help Paula through a fake emotional crisis -- her dog dies. Third, she meets his fellow parents'-house-living friends Ace and Demo (Justin Bartha and Bradley Cooper) - they play paintball together. Lastly, Tripp needs to teach Paula something -- they go sailing. Just as everything seems to be falling into place, disaster strikes.

Yet, Launch's carnage begins long before Paula's strategy goes south. In fact, much of the film's problems stem from a host of central character flaws that drastically undermine the story. The first issue: casting. McConaughey is completely miscast in the title role. Not for one second is he believable as a needy homebody who is totally dependant on his parents. The problem is that McConaughey has always played the sexy, independent every-man capable of getting anything he wants. It's kind of like Jim Carrey trying to play a dead serious role; it just doesn't work.

The anemic script never takes the time to develop the other characters either. Zooey Deschanel is underutilized as Paula's dysfunctional roommate Kit. She spends over half the film floating in and out of scenes where she clearly doesn't belong. Deschanel is fixed up in an absurd subplot about a squawking mockingbird solely to justify her existence until she is actually needed much later in the film. Even once she's used, she gets relegated to another useless storyline. While Parker is believable as Paula, her character is severely flawed as well. The film's major turning point stems from a critical mistake she makes that someone with her job experience just wouldn't do.

The only characters we're actually able to connect with are Al and Sue. And that's only because the ultra thin script can support their limited roles.

In the end, after all of the melodrama is painfully resolved and we've endured a visit to a naked Bradshaw's room, the film's central theme still goes unanswered: Does Tripp ever move out of his parent's house? By that time, we could really care less. It's the film's final failure to launch. Abort! Abort!

Try to catch this without using your hands.



Failure To Launch

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th March 2006

Box Office USA: $88.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $88.7M

Budget: $50M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 24%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 113

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Tripp, as Paula, as Kit, as Ace, as Demo, as Al, as Sue, Tyrel Jackson Williams as Jeffrey, as Melissa, as Techie Guy, as Gun Salesman

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.