A few days after my birthday in 2006, my friend Ali suggested we do a double feature instead of our usual one movie on $5 Tuesday movie night with the entire gang. I’m always game to see any movie, so of course I said yes.
The first movie on our schedule would be the romantic comedy “Failure to Launch.” The film was directed by Tom Dey, and starred Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. I don’t remember how we chose our first movie, but my guess is “Failure to Launch” was the only movie playing at the Patriot Cinema in Hanover when Ali and I got there.
In case you don’t remember, “Failure to Launch” is about a 35-year-old guy named Trip (Matthew McConaughey), who still lives at home with his parents Sue and Al (Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw). Trip’s parents want him out of the house, so they hire a woman named Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), who is a specialist at getting grown men to move out of their parents’ homes.
I don’t know for sure if that’s a real career or not, but Sarah Jessica Parker made it believable enough. But that’s the basic premise of “Failure to Launch,” and I know you’re probably thinking it doesn’t sound all that great. You’re probably thinking this is one of those movies you’re supposed to hate, but guess what? I liked “Failure to Launch.”
I’ll admit that at first, I thought what Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw were doing to America’s favorite naked bongo player was just cruel. But as the movie went on, I began to sympathize with them, and understood where they were coming from. I even began to feel bad for Matthew McConaughey, who didn’t know what the heck was going on.
I’m not trying to say “Failure to Launch” is the greatest comedy in the world. Heaven knows this movie is not exactly Shakespeare, but at least it doesn’t try to be. This movie has plenty of the usual romantic comedy stuff you see all the time, and it also has some silly comedy bits. For instance, during the course of “Failure to Launch,” a few of the characters are bitten by chipmunks, a dolphin, a lizard, and a mockingbird. And yet, I laughed at all of it.
While the main stars are great, “Failure to Launch” also has a surprisingly strong supporting cast. I already mentioned Kathy Bates, but believe it or not,”Failure to Launch” features the talents of Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Patton Oswalt, and Justin Bartha.
So yeah, I’m a fan of “Failure to Launch” and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Ali didn’t love the movie, but she didn’t hate it either. I’m pretty sure she laughed a few times along with me.
I guess this is just one of those movies that for one reason or another always makes me laugh, I can’t explain why. That’s why when I saw a used “Failure to Launch” dvd yesterday for $3.00, I snapped it up.