Another Buddy Comedy Movie
"Due Date" is probably one of the funniest comedies that I've seen all year. Not only does the film come off as comical, it pokes fun at all the drama associated when it comes to traveling. You know, little things like airport security, rent a car troubles, poor customer service at Western Union locations. Pretty much anything that you can imagine going wrong; happens in this movie. The film is essentially about a uptight business man, Peter (Robert Downey Jr.), who's on his way home to see his pregnant wife before the baby is born. Peter is a bit of a control freak, and void of any kind of humor, at least at first. Then comes along our other character, Ethan (Zach Galifianakis), who's basically a slob, and a bit of simple minded person; that seems to be devoid of common sense and basic social skills. Ethan is a traveling actor, who happens to be heading in the same direction as Peter. As luck would have it, Peter ends up traveling with this lovable boob all the way back to Los Angeles, as they're stuck together traveling on the open road, due to a series of unlikely events.
Needless to say, Peter severely despises Ethan, as he finds his lifestyle disgusting and annoying. Of course, who could blame the guy? I mean in one scene where they're sleeping in the car for the night, Peter wakes up and sees Ethan self pleasing himself, while sitting right next to him in the front seat! Don't worry, both these characters are straight, but it seems Ethan claims that he can't sleep unless he...well you get the idea. As one would expect, Peter was p*****. Then again, I think most of us would be if we woke up next to some slob self pleasuring himself next to us. This is just one of the many examples of how extremely annoying Ethan is during this movie. Heck, I don't blame Peter for hating the guy if you want my honest opinion. However, you can't help but like the character anyway, as Zach's portrayal of such a character comes off as so funny and charming, you just won't be able to help but laugh at all his exploits.
Unfortunately, it does seem rather sad that all of Zach Galifianakis' characters are generically the same, as they all come off as being the same drunken, doped up, goofy, funny, socially inept, gullible yet lovable idiot. However, to give credit where is credit is due, he does play the part rather well. Granted, I haven't seen his other movie this year, "It's Kind of A Funny Story", but from what I gather from trailers and other sources, it seems he still plays the same type of character. Not that there's anything wrong with it, as there's a lot of actors that can only play one type of character like Emma Stone, Brad Pitt and Dave Baruschel for instance. However, that doesn't make them bad actors. No, it just means they're limited to the type of roles they can play.
However, if it's any consolation to Zach Galifianakis, I don't think anyone can play the fat drunken, doped up, gullible, yet lovable slob better than he can. Plus, when you add a great performance by previously under rated actor, Robert Downey Jr., who does a great job portraying the uptight serious jerk to heavily contrast and clash with Zach's character, then you pretty much have a story filled with various comical situations, to make audiences laugh until it hurts.
Another small gripe, I'd like to point out is that this film's utter lack in originality, as anyone that seen a lot of movies can tell you that this film is such a rip off from "Plains, Trains, and Automobiles." Sure, some the circumstances and scenarios are different, with Steve Martin trying to go home to his family in time for the holidays, whereas Robert Downey Jr. is trying to get home before his wife goes into labor. Both play conservative uptight jerks, while being cast into a situation where they're stuck traveling with lovable fat morons that happens to be a complete slobs. Both end up getting their wallets stolen by these gullible idiots, but their intentions were mildly innocent enough to where you can't really hate them for it. Heck, there's even car crash scene where Peter hallucinates and sees Ethan as some type of bull, before they crash. Kind of similar to that scene in "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles", where Steve Martin hallucinates and sees John Candy as the devil, before they crash. You all remember that one right? The infamous lines, "Your going the wrong way!" Yeah, there's a lot of scenes between these movies that I could literally talk all day comparing "Due Date" to "Plains, Trains, and Automobiles." However, you get the basic idea.
If "Due Date" is guilty of anything, it's that it lacks originality and creativity. But is it funny? Definitely. Heck, as I mentioned before, this is probably one of the funniest movies that I've seen all year. Besides, with generic comedies like this, it's not supposed to be one of those rare witty intelligent films that most critics go gaga over like a Wes Anderson movie. No, it's just suppose to entertain you and make you laugh. On that note, it succeeds, as I never laughed so hard watching a movie before. Sure, "Plains, Trains, and Automobiles" is still a better movie overall, and Zach Galifianakis is certainly no John Candy, but "Due Date" is a helluva a lot funnier. It's definitely worth a few laughs if your tired of seeing too many comedies that sometimes take themselves too seriously, without compromising the value of the story with too many campy cliche ridden scenes.
That's why I'm proud to say that I give this movie a two and a half out of four. Very funny movie if you ask me, and one that's sure to make it's audiences' stomachs hurt like crazy from all the laughing they'll be in for.