Due Date is what you would get if John Waters started giving John Hughes blumpkins (cause you know he would) and their lovechild decided to make a buddy movie. I laughed at this movie (not always at the most appropriate parts, but more about that in a bit). But it is not laugh out loud funny like director Todd Phillips previous movie, The Hangover.
The plot revolves around Peter Highman (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) getting each other on the no fly list, and so they both need to take a car to get to California. California is where Peter’s wife is with soon to be child, and Hollywood is where Ethan wants to follow his dream to become an actor. Hilarity and highjinks ensue. You get everything from pot smoking mom’s to masturbating dogs.
But this movie was just not the laugh fest that I was expecting it to be, and I think the reason is the two main characters.
Ethan Tremblay is a man-child, not unlike many a Will Farrell character. He claims to be 23, wears clothing that is 3 sizes too small for him and acts like some sort of mashup between a retard, a homosexual and an eight year old. He has some funny scenes and some great lines, but the problem is that he seems to be seriously disturbed and not just a little bit crazy. Ethan is supposed to be the moral center for the movie, and that right there should tell you that this movie is just a bit off. A guy who has no qualms about masturbating in public (with his dog doing the same next to him) should probably not be the “moral character.”
Then there is Peter. He is a high strung asshole who does not seem prepared at all to be a father. The one thing about his child that he keeps harping on throughout the movie is that he must find the perfect name so that his child will not be screwed from day one. He does not treat his wife well. He does not treat his friends well. And he treats Ethan like he is not even a human being.
Plus there is one scene with Peter that I am a bit hesitant to bring up. Not because it is a spoiler, but more so because of how I reacted to it. Early in their road trip Ethan stops off to buy some wacky-tobacky. He is making his purchase from a mother of two, and Peter gets stuck with the kids while Ethan and mom are off sampling the wares. The boy decides that he doesn’t like Peter and starts messing with him. This prompts Peter to ask him to stop repeatedly. When the boy doesn’t, Peter decks him in the gut. I laughed at this. No one else in the theater did. Now, in my defense, I laughed my ass off at Punch Drunk Love, when no one else in the theater did, and I still say that that movie is a dark comedy.
I do not know what this says about me, but the fact that I was the only one who took this to be funny makes me feel like the whole movie was off comically. I felt like this was supposed to be a dark comedy that some studio head came in and said, “No, we want it to be more like The Hangover.” So some of that got thrown in and the movie just doesn’t know where its center is.
In the end, Due Date just did not sit well with me. It might work for you, but I can’t recommend it simply because I wouldn’t choose to watch it again.
Have you seen Due Date? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below.