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Failure To Launch - Review

Matthew McConaughey in Failure To Launch

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: The Making of Failure to Launch; Interview with Matthew McConaughey and Terry Bradshaw; Failure To Launch Contest; Featurettes; Theatrical Trailer.

FAILURE to launch is a new American term used to describe the inability of children to move out of their parents’ home.

It’s an interesting cultural phenomenon that forms the basis for a new romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. Sadly, the ensuing film suffers from a complete failure to entertain.

McConaughey stars as 35-year-old luxury yacht broker Tripp, a good-looking ladies man who refuses to move out from his folks’ place because of the easy life they provide for him.

Desperate to see the back of him, Al (Terry Bradshaw) and Sue (Kathy Bates) employ Paula (Parker), a professional dater who specialises in making housebound men fall for her charms and then move out in search of their independence.

But Tripp is the sort of womaniser who never allows himself to stay in a relationship for too long, using his parents to throw them off the scent, while Paula hasn’t counted on being won over by Tripp’s roguish charms.

The ensuing romantic farce plays out like a deviant version of McConaughey’s own How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days with very little to recommend it whatsoever.

The film is obviously straining for laughs from the moment director Tom Dey employs various animals to attack Tripp during his outdoor excursions (think animatronic chipmunks and lizards).

While attempts to pad things out by dropping in a second romantic sub-plot involving Tripp’s bumbling friend and Paula’s repressed flat-mate (Zooey Deschanel) merely serve to prolong the agony.

The main problem with Failure to Launch, however, is that it invites audiences to spend time with characters that simply aren’t worth caring about.

McConaughey is utterly vacuous as Tripp, all pristine smiles and bare-chested bravado, while Parker fares little better as the manipulating Paula.

They seem to be having fun enjoying set pieces that require them to sail, surf, rock-climb and paintball but their enjoyment comes at the viewers’ expense.

The result is a film that quickly squanders any of its potential as part of its futile search for easy laughs. It’s a failure on just about every level.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 96mins