Subscribers Only Content Area
[Log      [Learn

Home New Movies All Movies New Videos All Videos DVD Search

(About Our Ads)


(2006) (Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker) (PG-13)

Length Screen Format(s) Languages Subtitles Sound Sides
96 minutes Letterbox (1.85:1)
16x9 - Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 1


Appropriately warm but not fuzzy, the picture sports a rich veneer, filled with vibrant colors, solid blacks and consistently sharp detail without any noticeable digital artifacts. Considering the genre, the film's audio tracks - not surprisingly -- are filled with the appropriate score and included songs (all of which sound good), as well as various ambient effects to help establish locale and supplement the visuals.
  • Scene selection/Jump to any scene.
  • Casting off: the Making of Failure to Launch - 11+ minute look at the film and its production, including clips, behind the scenes footage and various interviews.
  • The Failure to Launch Phenomenon - 11+ minute segment about adult children who still live at home with their parents.
  • Dating in the New Millennium - 6+ minute look at just that.
  • Moviefone.com Unscripted with Matthew and Terry - 13+ minute interview between Matthew McConaughey and Terry Bradshaw.
  • The Failure to Launch Contest - 5+ minute segment about the contest and the three finalists in it.
  • Theatrical trailer.
  • Previews for upcoming Paramount releases.
    When it comes to NASA and its various spacecraft, failure to launch is not a good thing. Whether it's due to human, mechanical or natural reasons, the inability to get their craft off the pad can cause considerable headaches over lost time, money and work.

    Unlike the space agency with its limited time windows, however, parents have plenty of opportunities to get their kids out of the house. Yet, for any number of reasons -- some legit, most just excuses -- a growing number of adults still live with their parents, much to the latter group's dismay.

    For 35-year-old Trip, the reasons are simple. For starters, he has no rent or mortgage, but does have a maid in the form of his mom. But the main reason he still lives at home is to scare away any girlfriends who become too serious for his bachelor comfort level. As a result, his parents have hired a familial exterminator of sorts who will help the homebound Casanova finally leave the nest.

    Thus is the gist of "Failure to Launch," a romantic comedy that pretty much lives up to its title. For those of us who've watched attempted lift-offs of other such genre works, however, the failure here isn't that surprising, although it's still disappointing. Working from an architectural, narrative blueprint by scribes Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember, director Tom Dey ("Showtime," "Shanghai Noon") has constructed this rom-com with many of the similar design flaws that have grounded other such vehicles or caused fiery and expensive crashes during their attempted cinematic flights.

    There's the usual array of colorful roommates and/or friends, the various montages, and a flight plan that's pretty much the same course as previous trajectories. And the one such vessel this one closely resembles is "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." That's not only due to it having the exact same pilot -- the charming and strikingly handsome Matthew McConaughey (who seems to have replaced Hugh Grant as the go-to guy for these sorts of films) -- but also because it's plot is rather similar.

    In the earlier film, the characters played by McConaughey and Kate Hudson had ulterior motives for getting into a relationship with each other, only to end up falling in love. Here, there's only half of the deception as Sarah Jessica Parker -- now making another run on the big screen after being done with HBO's "Sex and the City" -- plays the familial pest exterminator who poses as the new girlfriend. Not surprisingly, she ends up attracted to her target. They fall in love, break up, and yada-yada-yada.

    Fans of the rom-com formula might like it, but neither the cast nor crew manage to do anything original or interesting with the tired material. That said, beyond the usual number of montages -- including a paintball one that goes on far too long and is obviously nothing more than filler -- Dey does include a number of "when animals go bad" scenes where McConaughey's character is on the wrong end of encounters with a dolphin, chipmunk and lizard (while an unrelated subplot deals with attempts to get rid of a noisy mockingbird). The point is that until he's true to himself and others (and leaves the nest as has occurred by his predecessors throughout the ages), he'll always be at odds with nature. Yet, this running gag does nothing for the film.

    Nor does the presence of Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw as his afflicted parents. The roles are so blandly constructed that it wouldn't have made any difference who played them. And in that case, we wouldn't have had to see the repeated views of Bradshaw's bare tush (or that of his "stunt" butt double). That's supposed to be funny, but I can only imagine that since Bates did her nude scene in "About Schmidt," someone thought it would be hilarious for Bradshaw to do the same. It's not.

    Justin Bartha and Bradley Cooper play the male friends and easily could have been lifted from any other rom-com or even a sitcom. Zooey Deschanel is the most interesting character, although that's by default only and she's doing that deadpan sarcastic thing she can probably now do in her sleep. As far as the leads, their star power can only carry them so far. McConaughey is his usual, easy-going and charming self, but Parker is pretty much limited to lots of reactionary squeals (as if standing on a kitchen chair in heels with mice scurrying about below her), making me wish I kept a running count of them.

    Their chemistry together is passable but hardly red-hot, yet like the rest of the film, it never achieves any great heights. Sporting the sort of name critics love (as it makes caustic review taglines far too easy to concoct), "Failure to Launch" lives up to its title.

    Failure to Launch (Widescreen Edition) is now available for purchase by clicking here.

    Advertising Info Info/FAQ Mail Newsletter Sneak Previews Syndication

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2010 Screen It, Inc.