November 4, 2010

'Due Date': A Hilarious Cross-Country (Mis)Adventure

By Billy Nastyn, Contributing Writer

"You’d better check yourself, before you wreck yourself."

...and wreck themselves they did (in all the right ways)! Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis star as Peter Highman and Ethan Tremblay in Due Date, where a play-by-play of the amazing catastrophes need to be seen to be appreciated.

When the oblivious Ethan chaotically enters Peter’s world at the airport, the unfortunate circumstances have already been set into motion. Boarding the same flight to LA, Ethan proves to be one of those obnoxious passengers that pushes all the wrong buttons. It only takes a few awkward statements out of his mouth (this movie provides quite a library) to get them kicked off of the flight and put on the no-fly list. Edgy and frustrated to begin with, Peter discovers his wallet is still on the plane and must begrudgingly accept a ride cross-country from his new acquaintance.

Like any good drama (wait, isn’t it a comedy?), we’ve got death and birth setting up the basis of this long journey. Ethan is leaving Atlanta for Hollywood after his father’s death to follow his dream to star in Two And a Half Men (seriously), while Peter is rushing to LA to be with his wife when she gives birth.

Polar opposites and stuck together, Due Date then takes the idea that all that can go wrong will go wrong and pushes it until you can’t help but enjoy the absurdity. You have to hand it to these guys; first you find yourself laughing at a kid getting punched, than you’re feeling sensitive over father abandonment issues. Just never take a moment for granted, because this movie is all about the unexpected and nothing is more shocking than getting owned by a movie right when you’re about to shed a tear. Embarassing.

If the emo factor is giving you doubts, don’t worry because this movie never gets too serious. It stars Zach Galifianakis, so that’s an automatic foot on the break pedal when it comes to dramatics. He knows how to play the quirky card extremely well, but by surrounding him with a great cast lets him show a more complex weirdness. There are some great cameos by stars like Juliette Lewis as Ethan’s craigslist pot dealer (brief, but hilarious) and Jamie Foxx playing Peter’s generous friend that likes to hit those drainage ditches hard (still laughing about it). Robert Downey Jr. tops off this cast perfectly since he plays the initially stable guy who just wants to make it home alive to meet his new kid. All around, they just mesh well and it makes the movie that much funnier.

Due Date is really meant for laughs, but it’s great to have a story that’s grounded when it takes jokes to the “did he really just do that?” level. It’s full of over the top humor, explosive attitudes, and it’s such a major win when it comes to perfect "anti-chemistry". Go see it and you’ll definitely leave laughing over some new one-liners.

Click here to watch the trailer for Due Date:

Due Date is in theaters this Friday, November 5.