The title "Failure to Launch" pretty much sums up this feeble attempt at a romantic comedy. The film never quite picks up steam, due to its ridiculous and somewhat questionable premise. This is no fault of the actors, who played their parts with charm and ease. The supporting actors almost steal the show from Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey, who play the two main characters, Paula and Tripp. And it's true that the movie garners some laughs. But the plot keeps this film chained firmly to the ground, giving its appealing stars little to work with.
Tripp (McConaughey) is a successful, good-looking 35-year-old who makes a comfortable living selling boats. He and his two close friends, Demo (Bradley Cooper) and Ace (Justin Bartha), spend their time together playing paintball and going rock climbing. On the surface, Tripp seems like the perfect man, except for one drawback: He still lives at home with his parents.
Tripp's mom (Kathy Bates) does his laundry, cleans his bedroom, and makes him breakfast every morning. This is the perfect arrangement for Tripp, who uses it to his advantage: if ever a woman he is dating gives him "the look" that means she wants to get serious, he takes her home to meet his parents. Once the current girlfriend discovers that Tripp lives in his childhood home with his folks, she gives him the boot. Desperate to get their son to grow up, Tripp's mom and dad enlist Paula (Parker), a "professional interventionist," to nudge Tripp out of the nest. Things get complicated, however, when Paula starts falling for Tripp for real, and she learns a secret about his past that explains his fear of commitment.
Throughout the movie, I couldn't help thinking how unrealistic it was that a man like Matthew McConaughey would still be living at home. At the same time, it was difficult not to think of Sarah Jessica Parker's character Paula as a hired escort. The most that can be said about "Failure to Launch" is that Parker wore great clothes and the supporting actors, including Cooper, Bartha, and Zooey Deschanel as Paula's wacky friend Kit, got the most laughs and attention. "Failure to Launch" is a failure of a romantic comedy.
Failure to Launch
2 stars ( out of 4)
Rating: PG-13 Natalie Franczyk is a senior at Nichols.