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Due Date

A 2010 movie directed by Todd Phillips.

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PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES is still the gold-standard for this kind of film. DUE DATE disappoints

  • Nov 7, 2010
  • by
A PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES for a new generation (but far less successful), DUE DATE delivers many solid laughs, but is sloppy and unmoving.

Robert Downey Jr. is an uptight architect working away from home in Atlanta. He's got a ticket to fly back home, because his wife (Michelle Monaghan) is scheduled to deliver their first child in just a few days. Zack Galifianakis is the strange, troublesome guy who utterly messes up his plans…and the two are forced to embark on a road trip across the country together in a bid to reach California in time. 5 days should be plenty of time, but if you've ever seen a film like this…you know that there will be many frustrating delays along with way.

Galifianakis dreams of heading to Hollywood to come an actor, even though he has no experience. He carries with him, in a coffee can, the ashes of his recently deceased father and also this French bulldog…an animal that gets laughs just by looking at him. Galifianakis causes havoc everywhere he goes, with almost everything he touches, but his blissfully unaware. He comes across as just a little simple minded. Downey is very much the straight man; he's the victim of almost all the terrible consequences Galifianakis brings down on them. He's uptight and humorless, a real misanthrope.

The biggest laughs, frankly, come from the interplay between this odd couple. Their dialogue. The two characters operate on such different levels that they seldom seem to be on the same page. There are other, more slap-sticky laughs, with car crashes and perhaps the least likely "escape from the cops and lead them on a chase" scene you're ever going to see. But these two pros really banter together nicely.

But the movie tries to intersperse "touching" moments (mostly revolving around memories of fathers) into the often highly crude proceedings. These scenes, frankly, feel forced and clumsy. We can sort of believe Galifianakis' odd remembrances of his deceased dad, but when Downey abruptly spills his heart…it feels almost like that scene in GREMLINS when Phoebe Cates suddenly talks about the death of her dad. It's abrupt, clumsily written and because it generates no real emotion, becomes almost laughable. (In fact, Galifianakis has a wonderful reaction to the moment and thankfully sets the tone right again.)

There is a supporting cast, but mostly they do far from their best work. Jamie Foxx appears briefly and looks to be in a hurry to get out of the film. Danny McBride delivers his usual shtick (but he does have a good line about making a reservation for Chili's). Juliette Lewis appears as a drug dealer and is given nothing to do. And Michelle Monaghan, who was SO good with Downey in KISS, KISS, BANG, BANG mostly spends time on the phone pleading with hubby to come back…ANYONE could have played her part.

Because the film generates no emotional resonance (it simply tries too hard), it leaves room to notice bothersome things. The film seems to imply that El Paso/Juarez are fairly near to I-40, when in fact they are 4 hours apart. Vehicles are abandoned (what DOES happen to the Range Rover?) and we have the time to wonder about them.

Director and co-writer Todd Phillips did such a great job with THE HANGOVER. He gave us annoying characters that we grew to like. The movie tied up all loose ends (heck, the entire thing was pretty much about tying up loose ends). While it was obscene at times, it was always funny. DUE DATE is frequently obscene and cringe-inducing. It spends too much time showing characters on drugs (don't moviemakers get that extended sequences showing a character that doesn't do drugs getting stoned aren't really all that funny?). It leaves loose ends everywhere it goes. THE HANGOVER didn't try for "touching moments"…it just tried to be the funniest movie it could be. DUE DATE tries too hard, and the comedy suffers.

In the end, I feel the biggest fault of the film is that although we like, as moviegoers, Downey and Galifianakis, we DON'T like their characters. Downey is kind of a mean and obnoxious guy. Galifianakis is kind of clueless, annoying and dangerous. We just don't really care all that much what happens to them. I laughed a fair amount at the film, and had a good enough time…but I had hoped for much more, so my overriding feeling was disappointment.

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December 02, 2010
meh. excatly what I feared. Like Downey, but not enough to sit through this mess. Great review!
More Due Date (2010 movie) reviews
review by . March 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Due Date is possibly the nastiest and most unpleasant film experience of the year, consistently confusing comedy with cruelty, and it may continue to rank as one of the cruelest films of all time (at least until the Farrelly Brothers write another script).      If you've seen Planes, Trains & Automobiles, it's basically the same thing but without any of the warm, depth or charm. Irredeemable asshole Peter Highman, "acted" by Robert Downey Jnr, is trying …
review by . August 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****     "Due Date" is a mediocre follow-up to a fairly-solid film; that being Todd Phillip's "The Hangover", which was like an insane carnival of twisted, warped laughter. It took advantage of its Las Vegas setting and let its characters run wild; but without showing us how they took their precious little time about it. For the most time, they're just bumbling idiots.    "Due Date" takes a similar approach; but instead of three men in the "wolf …
review by . November 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Past Due
DUE DATE   Written by Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland, Adam Sztykiel and Todd Phillips   Directed by Todd Phillips   Starring Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis and Michelle Monaghan      Ethan Tremblay: "Two and a Half Men" is the reason I wanted to become an actor - especially the second season.      Todd Phillips has been making male no-brainer comedies for quite some time now, with varied results.  In 2008, …
review by . November 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Director Todd Phillips, the creator of "Old School" and "The Hangover" thought he could pull another "classic" by casting the Hollywood's Playboy at this moment, Robert Downey Jr. and the hilarious comedian Zach Galifianakis. Great cast but not that great story. The typical "glam meets nerd" has been done tens of times before and I really though this approach would be different but it just didn't worked that well. I'm not suggesting that this movie …
review by . May 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Robert Downey Jr how you break my heart. Not even my love for you can save me from the pains in which you inflicted upon me during Due Date.  Not even my love for the obseenly odd Zach Galifianakis spared me a pain that could only rival that of child birth.  OK, that is probably a bit of a stretch, but I think you get what I am trying to say. In true Todd Phillips (director) style, this film fits right in with Old School and The Hangover.  Although not as good as The Hangover, Due …
review by . March 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Comedies these days  are more common than a two-legged dog. Every year, every month,  every day a new comedy releases in theaters  some are funny some are less than funny  and then there are those rare comedies that are so god-awful, so nasty, so cruel so shamelessly unfunny that after seeing it you  absolutely cringe at the slightest mention of the name of the film. Todd Philips' "Due Date" is such a comedy, a comedy that takes no shame in ripping off one …
review by . November 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's about time that a Planes Trans and Automobiles remake was
Okay, stop me if you heard this one: a fussy straight faced white collar guy ends up spending an excruciating trek across the country with a talkative blue collar slob and they slowly but surely end up best friends.  I think John Hughes made it...........Steve Martin has an F Bomb tyraid in it...........yeah.  Sans Trains, this movie really felt like familiar ground. Initially when I saw this movie being advertised all I really thought of as soon as I saw "brought to you by the …
Quick Tip by . April 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I seem to be one of the few people who found the characters in this film to be so unpleasant that they were sort of lovable. Oh well, I also think Oscar the Grouch is sweet.      From the guys who made the uproariously funny and politically incorrect film The Hangover comes another film (perhaps more politically incorrect and certainly less funny) Due Date. The story is very straight forward and for the most part entirely predictable, but this is an American comedy and they haven't …
review by . November 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   A lot of hyperboles are used for laughter in a theater on the box art or in a review for a comedy film. My fellow film journalists may write “I laughed until I cried!” or “I laughed until my sides hurt!” However, during my screening of Due Date, one of my friends I was watching the film with literally fell out of his seat and folded up like a lawn chair after hearing one of the many perfectly executed jokes in Todd Phillips’ new comedy. To tell you the …
Quick Tip by . April 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Pretentious, dull, witless, stupid, cliché and quite frankly unbearable Todd Phillips'  follow up to his critical and commercial smash hit  "The Hangover",  "Due Date" is the biggest miscalculation of any comedy I have seen since oh... "The Last Airbender" this a gross disgusting film with two of the most unlikable lead character to appear in films in the last ten years  a truly god-awful film that thinks its funny and obviously knows …
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I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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About this movie


Director Todd Phillips re-teams with his break-out Hangover star Zach Galifianakis for this road movie concerning a soon-to-be father (played by Robert Downey Jr.) and his cross-country trip to make it back in time for his baby's birth -- with the only roadblock being the dubious passenger (Galifianakis) who's along for the ride. Michelle Monaghan and Jamie Foxx co-star in the Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures production.

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    Director: Todd Phillips
    Release Date: 5 November 2010
    MPAA Rating: R
    First to Review

    "Past Due"
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