Failure To Launch

Movie Review by Lisa Henshall

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel
Director: Tom Dey

If you’re looking for an enjoyable and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that will appeal to both you and your date, then look no further than FAILURE TO LAUNCH.

The storyline for this comedy is hardly rocket science, in fact, I should point out that the film’s title has nothing to do with astronauts, but is instead a term meaning someone in their 30s who is still living with their parents.

Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) is handsome, educated, funny and earns a good salary as a successful yacht salesman. However, despite being in his mid-30s he still lives at home with his parents. Unfortunately, Tripp’s parents don’t feel quite so excited about this and want to enjoy some alone time before they draw their pensions. In desperation they hire Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) a consultant who specializes in getting men to fall in love with her – giving them the necessary emotional ‘push’ to grow up and move out of the family nest into a place of their own.

As Paula, Sarah Jessica Parker is on full ‘sassy’ alert and turns in a great performance as the ideal girlfriend that every man wants – trading quips and chemistry with our charming hero and throwing herself into a paint-balling game in order to ‘bond’ with his friends – while at the same time showing the ladies how to win over a man by following her simple rules.

McConaughey is arrogant and funny to start with, so the men in the audience won’t feel they’ve been duped into watching anything mushy. The slapstick scenes with Tripp versus human nature and his buddies are a little out-of-kilter but still funny if you like that sort of thing, and McConaughey still manages to convey the real depth of Tripp’s character later on in the film when we learn more about why he’s really still living at home.

The script is tight and laugh-out-loud funny in places. The supporting roles are also brilliantly played with Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw as the kind of parents we’d all love to have. But it’s Zooey Deschanel, as Paula’s quirky, nihilistic, borderline alcoholic flatmate who shines out in the movie and steals every scene she’s in – especially her obsession with killing a mockingbird that keeps her up every night.

It’s a romantic comedy which luckily ticks both boxes and should appeal to both sexes equally – enjoy!!

4 out of 6 stars

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