Failure To Launch (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/03/2006

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Generally dismal romantic comedy, enlivened only by Parker’s likeable performance and an enjoyably offbeat supporting turn by Zooey Deschanel.

What’s it all about?
Matthew McConaughey stars as 35 year old Tripp, who still lives with his parents (Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw) despite earning a perfectly good living as a boat-seller. In desperation, his parents hire facilitator Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), to pretend to be Tripp’s girlfriend in order to lure him into independence.

However, things don’t exactly go according to plan and Paula finds herself genuinely falling for Tripp. On top of that, Tripp’s best friends (Justin Bartha and Bradley Cooper) discover what she’s up to and threaten to blow the whistle.

The Bad
This is a poorly written, badly thought-out romcom that’s scuppered by a weak central premise. It also doesn’t help that McConaughey’s character is such an unlikeable, macho git that it’s impossible to understand what Paula sees in him and the romance element suffers as a result.

The Good
To be fair, the performances are better than the film deserves – Parker’s much more likeable here than she was in The Family Stone and the supporting cast are good. However, the film is comprehensively stolen by Zooey Deschanel (as Paula’s offbeat roommate Kit), who gets all the best lines and a bizarre subplot in which she buys a gun and attempts to kill a mockingbird.

Worth seeing?
As a romantic comedy this is very aptly titled, but it earns an extra star for Zooey Deschanel’s bonkers performance. They should have made the film all about her.

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Failure To Launch (12A)
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Content updated: 22/10/2017 18:33

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