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Due Date

A 2010 movie directed by Todd Phillips.

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Like a Road Trip With One of Your Best Friends You've Known All Your Life

  • Nov 11, 2010

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 truth, I came very close many times to falling out my seat as well during one of the year’s best and certainly most enjoyable comedies, Due Date. The film follows Peter Highmore (Downey Jr.), who seems to be on a dead-set, hitch-less path to make it from Atlanta, GA to Los Angeles, CA, that is until he runs into Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis). After the two have a run-in at the airport and an escalating confrontation on the plane out of Georgia they are placed on the “no-fly list” and are forced into a cross country road trip to hopefully make it in time for the birth of Peter’s child. Peter is more of a straight-faced, smug jerk of a guy just trying to make it back and time and Ethan’s a bit more quirky as he’s the one carrying his father’s ashes in a coffee can and sporting a fresh perm. Along the way the two run into a handicapped/disgruntled Western Union employee, drug possession charges, and lots of sleeping at the wheel. Last year’s other Todd Phillips comedy The Hangover jump-started Zach Galifianakis’ career, so it’s interesting to see him take that another step further this time around. That being said, Galifianakis isn’t breaking any new ground with this character, but much like his infamous Between Two Ferns web series, Zach’s got a perfectly firm handle on the awkward and absurd things his character says and does throughout the movie. He plays like a great foil to Robert Downey Jr.’s straight man character in the movie. It’s interesting to see Downey do comedy when we’re so used to seeing him in movies like Iron Man, but he proves to be a worthy match to a current comedy superstar like Zach with some of the movie’s finest moments of hilarity. Much like Galifianakis he’s great at getting a good feel for his character and gradually exploring it, easily being the most relatable of the two and easier for audiences to relate to. Although the film is very much about Downey and Galifianakis’ two characters, along the way there’s more than one great moment with some side characters. Danny McBride who was great in the underrated 2008 comedy Pineapple Express has a small bit this time around as the disgruntled Western Union employee. Although he’s only on the screen for maybe 5 minutes the guy absolutely kills it. Jamie Foxx also appears in the latter half of the film as Peter’s childhood best friend and evidently had a lot of fun with it. Whereas Apatow has built his comedy reputation on relatable scenarios with these realistic yet bizarre characters, Todd Phillips has become known recently for these gradually escalating comedy scenarios like in The Hangover and especially now in Due Date. Since I started watching Apatow’s movies like Knocked Up I’ve had a great time seeing him craft such genuine dialogue and situations, but nothing beats how crazy fun Due Date is. You’re taken from the normal to the insane by the time it’s all said and done, and almost every comedic set piece is executed in spectacular fashion. There are some gut-busting moments in Due Date, including a marijuana-induced “trip” Peter and Ethan take that’s hilariously “out there” and a car chase near the end that brings the journey to a close in a lot of broken metal and crashed vehicles. Not all of the moments knock it out of the park like a few select scenes do, but even at its worst you’d be hard-pressed to find better comedic sensibility than what’s on display here. Some are obviously not going to be able to enjoy Due Date for what it is, some aren’t ever going to be a fan of Todd Phillips’ at-times-crude sense of comedy in general, and if you can’t, then you’re still not going to enjoy Due Date. I honestly don’t understand why so many people hate on this movie so much (it’s currently at 40% on Rotten Tomatoes); it could be that everyone’s expecting it to be the new Hangover. I think some may be forgetting though that that film wasn’t really a stunning piece of filmmaking, it was just a heck of a lot of fun that was really well written and executed, and a lot of people (including myself) were surprised by that. Due Date is definitely in that same vein of humor, it may not be to the same scale as The Hangover, but I had just as much, if not more fun in this one. You really just can’t beat a classic “road trip” movie. Just like the classic John Hughes movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (more on that later), each part of the U.S. has it’s own feel and there’s plenty of time devoted to making sure it has it’s own set of great jokes to last onto the next location. Surprisingly enough, there was also a bit of heart to be found in Due Date. There are a few touching moments involving Galifianakis’ character, maybe it’s because I’m a big softy, that worked surprisingly well and brought me close to tears. Although that’s a fine moment of the film, there’s not a whole lot of heart to be found in Due Date aside from those few moments compared to the amount of heart in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. That movie has one of the most emotionally crippling endings ever, but it’s not really fair to compare the two on those terms. A lot of people are comparing the two films and citing Due Date as a cheap knock-off, but even though the two films share a common premise people are neglecting the filmmaker’s style. John Hughes wasn’t a raunchy director; he wrote heartfelt, clever comedies like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles that have a touching ending. If anything Phillips isn’t known for heart-felt movies, he’s known for at times raunchy and increasingly crazy comedies, so we should be glad there’s any heart at all, much less that it works on screen. On top of that, is the concept of two men that hate each other travelling across the United States to make it home to one of their families really something we see that often? Personally, whenever I heard that Due Date was a lot like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, I was relieved mainly because the latter is one of my favorite films of all time. It’s interesting to look at Due Date as a modern take on it. Without sounding snooty, it’s fascinating to see how close Robert Downey Jr. is to Steve Martin’s character, and how Zach Galifianakis reminds me a lot of the late John Candy. While there’s not an infamous musical scene like Mike Tyson’s “In The Air Tonight” from The Hangover, Due Date has a uniquely fun soundtrack. Ice Cube, Band of Horses, Barry Manilow, and of course Wolfmother accompany the film’s biggest moments and montages beautifully. When it comes down to it, the question really is, "Do you enjoy just being in the theater and having a great time with your friends?" If you at least think you'll answer yes, you can't beat Due Date in terms of sheer fun at the cinema. I know my friends and I had a blast seeing it, and were in tears multiple times throughout. It's the perfect pick me up for a bad day, and I can't wait to watch it again. All in all, you can’t ask for a more enjoyable film than Due Date. It’s perfect for a movie night with the adults of the family on Thanksgiving later this month, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more laughs this month in the cinema (although Harry Potter 7 looks like it might be the feel-good comedy of the Fall). Due Date isn’t a perfect movie, and not all of its jokes hit the bull’s eye, but it’s a hysterical film that actually surprised me quite a bit. In what’s usually a November movie drought as far as comedy goes, Due Date is a heck of a lot of fun backed by a heck of a lot of great comedic talent in one of the most surprisingly fun films of the year. Due Date is one heck of an adventure, it’s like taking a road trip with your best friend. Even on the detours and pit stops, you’re still having a heck of a fun time.

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November 12, 2010
Groovy review. Thanks for sharing this with us. Most folks gave this a decent rating but I am happy to see that you liked it.
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 07, 2010
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 …
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 …
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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Jake Wilbanks ()
Ranked #158
   My name's Jake, I write film reviews and the occasional music/video game/comic/tech review. I've been involved in journalism over the past 3 years, and am currently majoring in Journalism … 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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