Nov 072010
 
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “hangover,” among other things, as a letdown following great excitement. Apparently director Todd Phillips doesn’t know this, because his hit comedy last year titled “The Hangover” was anything but a letdown.

More fitting with that definition is his new movie “Due Date,” a road picture that tries very hard for laughs but does not stick to its comedic formula.

The film’s talented leads, Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, are forced into a situation where they must drive across the country together. Downey Jr. is Peter Highman, a businessman simply trying to get home to witness the birth of his child, and Galifianakis is Ethan Tremblay, an aspiring actor on his way to Hollywood.

The movie’s main attraction is the relationship between the leads, highlighting Ethan’s eccentric brand of stupidity in some very dark, unconventional ways. Unfortunately mostly all of Ethan’s mishaps come at Peter’s expense, discrediting any sort of believability as to why the two would stick together at all.

Worse off, the movie can’t decide whether it wants to be a comedy or not, so the resulting number of scenes that try to be heartfelt just feel awkward.   

I don’t know what it is about this year and comedies, but it has been filled to the brim with disappointments. “Dinner For Schmucks,” “The Other Guys,” “Date Night,” “Macgruber” and a slew of other movies have fallen flat on their comedic faces. I’m not sure if it’s the writers’ faults, but more often than not the jokes just aren’t very funny.

Here’s to hoping Phillips and his writers don’t screw up “The Hangover 2.”

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com. 

 Posted by at 2:30 pm

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