Due Date (2010)
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Due Date movie review: Todd Phillips is just fantastic! While Due Date seemed like it could be a letdown after the terrific The Hangover, it more than did its job. This is a wild, wacky and sometimes wonderful road trip that had me laughing all the way through. As a director, Phillips knows exactly how long to hold on to a joke, or single moment, and then carry it further than you’d imagine. His dark and dirty comedy is crude, but there is a real decency in it. Okay, maybe a slightly sarcastic bit of decency, but it is there.The story is about as far-fetched as you could imagine. Two very different men having to share a ride to Los Angeles due to sitcom worthy circumstance, it is convoluted yet painfully funny. Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is trying to get back to his wife (Michelle Monaghan) before she has their first child. Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) just lost his father, and he is heading to Hollywood to become an actor… along with his dog. When the two men are thrown off a plane due to Ethan’s insistence that Peter not use his phone, things get ugly.
Again, the plot is very hard to believe for a couple of reasons. One, it seems that somebody as smart as Peter would do anything he could to avoid dealing with this strange actor fellow. Second, the two would probably be killed at some point for many a reason. At the screening we attended, somebody actually made that statement during one scene. Let us not forget that this is a comedy that is an exaggeration of reality. It is not real life at all. That is the beauty of it. We can laugh at the misery and not feel like a jerk about it.With The Hangover, Phillips allowed his characters to be dirty and to do bad things, but it was okay, they were only human. He does the same here. There are cringe-worthy moments where Ethan would drive any man to murder, yet at the same time, Galifianakis brings a sort of sweetness to Ethan. You can’t help but like the guy a little. The same could be said with Peter. This guy isn’t the greatest guy in the world. If he had just tried to be nice, things could have been different. And Downey Jr. plays up his faults, and much like Zach, he finds humanity when he needs it most.There is a sort of epic feel for much of Due Date. At one point the two make it to the Grand Canyon and it is amazing to see how well it is shot. Things do get ugly and sometimes really nasty… especially when Ethan and his dog share a moment. It is hard to say whether or not this is funnier than The Hangover, or Old School, but it is not hard to say that Mr. Phillips is proving to be one of the top comedic filmmakers working today.Box Office: Due Date earned $43,478,266 million on its first week, placing behind Megamind. In overall Due Date grossed $73,348,607 domestically and $62,200,000 internationally
Cast:Robert Downey, Zach Galifianakis, Juliette Lewis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx