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Home arrow Movies arrow Failure To Launch


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Failure To Launch Print
Written by Mike Noel   
Tuesday, 11 April 2006
ImageAs a romantic comedy Failure To Launch just didn't work for me. Matthew McConaughey plays a live-at-home bachelor, Tripp, who apparently prefers the life of luxury living at home. The parents are not pleased with their border so they hire a Paula, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, to help get their son out. Paula is a self-proclaimed expert at helping men gain the confidence needed to move out and start a life on their own. Her methods are simple and straight-forward. She makes the young man fall in love with her and then slowly makes the relationship more and more serious. Through the relationship she builds their self-confidence so that by the time she breaks up with them they are ready to stand on their own. The twist in this whole story is that Paula ends up falling in love with Tripp and that messes up the whole plan.

So far that all sounds mushy sweet and ok for a chick-flick type movie but it just didn't work. First and most importantly McConaughey and Parker were completely flat together. There was more chemistry in my 7th grade science class than between those two. It just wasn't there. Each of them played their part fine but they were just not a believable couple -- not at all. During the whole movie I kept waiting for the sparks to fly but the emotional connection that was missing from the start never really appeared. Even in the climactic rubber-meets-the-road moment towards the ends of the movie there was nothing.

From a plot perspective much of the movie fell apart when the back story became more revealed. At the beginning of the movie we are led to believe that Tripp is living at home just because he wants to. He is portrayed as a self-absorbed freeloader. But later we find that this is not true at all. Instead Tripp was prepared to move out years earlier. But his fiance died. The tragedy of it left Tripp in the state he is in now. Remarkably his parents somehow didn't take any of this into account when discussing their son's issue with Paula. It seems to me that this would be the first thing to bring up.

During the movie Tripp is often hanging out with his two best friends. Both of them are shown to be the same type of freeloader. Later on we find that these guys aren't that at all. It's true that they both live with their parents. In one case the son bought his aging mom's home and offered to have her stay with him. In the other case the son travels abroad most of the year and his parents allow him to a room in the house so he doesn't have to maintain a separate residence.

I was disappointed with the movie. My wife and I were looking forward to a fun, romantic comedy but this one just fell flat.

 

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