The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word â€œhangover,â€ among other things, as a letdown following great excitement. Apparently director Todd Phillips doesnâ€™t know this, because his hit comedy last year titled â€œThe Hangoverâ€ was anything but a letdown.
More fitting with that definition is his new movie â€œDue Date,â€ a road picture that tries very hard for laughs but does not stick to its comedic formula.
The filmâ€™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 movieâ€™s main attraction is the relationship between the leads, highlighting Ethanâ€™s eccentric brand of stupidity in some very dark, unconventional ways. Unfortunately mostly all of Ethanâ€™s mishaps come at Peterâ€™s expense, discrediting any sort of believability as to why the two would stick together at all.
Worse off, the movie canâ€™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. Â Â
I donâ€™t know what it is about this year and comedies, but it has been filled to the brim with disappointments. â€œDinner For Schmucks,â€ â€œThe Other Guys,â€ â€œDate Night,â€ â€œMacgruberâ€ and a slew of other movies have fallen flat on their comedic faces. Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s the writersâ€™ faults, but more often than not the jokes just arenâ€™t very funny.
Hereâ€™s to hoping Phillips and his writers donâ€™t screw up â€œThe Hangover 2.â€
Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at email@example.com.Â