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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shouldn't work...but it does
Tripp (the latest in a long line of lovable slackers played by Matthew McConaughey) has a great job, fun friends, and an easygoing life. He doesn't even have to worry about the things that should bother him - like the fact that he lives with his parents. (In our society, we can "contextualize" mobsters into family men, drug dealers into businessmen and terrorists into...
Published on September 9, 2006 by Rottenberg's rotten book review

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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "When the animals attack!"
Totally formulaic and with such an outrageous premise that it's almost impossible to take seriously, Failure to Launch is mostly saved by the charisma of its all star cast, particularly the attractive supporting players who garner most of the film's few laughs. It's a movie that constantly hovers around sit-com territory, even though somewhere in the depths of its...
Published on July 4, 2006


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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "When the animals attack!", July 4, 2006
Totally formulaic and with such an outrageous premise that it's almost impossible to take seriously, Failure to Launch is mostly saved by the charisma of its all star cast, particularly the attractive supporting players who garner most of the film's few laughs. It's a movie that constantly hovers around sit-com territory, even though somewhere in the depths of its mediocrity it presents a very real and disturbing issue - the phenomenon of thirty something males, or "boy men" who still like to live at home with their parents

Mathew McConaughey is Trip, a commitment-phobic 35-year-old whose "failure to launch" means he's still living with his parents in their tidy suburban home, enjoying Mom's egg and pancake breakfasts whilst she contentedly does his washing and tidies his room. Trip is a charming all round nice guy, who sells luxury yachts for a living, but he's also spoilt and somewhat sheltered and he can't keep a girlfriend because they freak out every time he brings them home to meet the parents.

Apparently there exists a profession for women whose job it is to inveigle and seduce these adolescent male adults from the nest - yes it's really true! Sarah Jessica Parker plays Paula, one such "consultant," who fell into the profession a few years earlier when she failed to disentangle herself from a beau from his mom and dad's house. Paula's been hired by Trip's parents - a capricious Kathy Bates and a laidback Terry Bradshaw - to seduce Trip on the assumption his newborn passion will motivate him to grow up and leave home.

No surprises here - it's boy meets girl and accidentally fall in love, boy and girl have a misunderstanding and then eventually come together again. And I'm still not sure whether Trip ever actually moved out of home - maybe he ended up buying the boat! McConaughey and Parker have a great deal of chemistry together, and Parker is always fun to watch, but they are constantly left high and dry with thanklessly predictable scenes.

Zooey Deschanel is, as usual, a standout as Paula's sardonic, possibly manic-depressive roommate, her brand of humor is impossibly dry and she turns the character into a wonderful comic foil. Tripp's only friends, Ace (Justin Bartha) and Demo (Bradley Cooper), also are stay-at-homers and provide some welcome eye candy to the proceedings, especially up-and-coming actor Bradley Cooper. Failure to Launch is pretty much a movie of comic stupidity and distractions, basically aiming for the lowest common denominator in entertainment.

Along with a bunch of stupid - but admittedly cute - pet tricks, the characters play paintball games, go sailing and then rock climbing, they eat lunch in fish restaurants and have silly, petty arguments - there's a real sense of desperation with the writers here - anything to build a false sense of forward thrust into a story that is predictably dead on arrival. Mike Leonard July 06.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Failure to like, June 28, 2006
By 
Deanna Breglia (Orlando, Florida) - See all my reviews
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I think most people will agree that what makes a romantic comedy work is chemistry. And if there's zero chemistry between the romantic leads, then be sure to have People's Sexiest Man Alive 2005 shirtless in the first scene of the movie.

The producers got one of the above right.

"Failure to Launch" is a simple tale about Tripp's (Matthew McConaghey) parents hiring a motivator, Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) to get him to move out of their house. The Swiss cheese plot doesn't make much sense and the actors don't help matters.

As much as I like SJP from her "Sex and the City" days, I found her to be flat and uninteresting and frankly, too old-looking for Matthew McConaghey.

The talents of Kathy Bates (Tripp's mother) are completely wasted. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Terry Bradshaw's (Tripp's father) rather befuddling nude scene as he was, ahem, cleaning out a fish tank. My eyes!

Zooey Deschanel as Paula's roommate Kit is the comic relief of this dim, jumbled movie. In one rather strange scene, she and her new boyfriend deliver CPR to a mockingbird. Not even her moody comments and antics could save this story though.

I love romantic comedies. And I genuinely like most of the past work of both SJP and Matthew McConaghey. But don't waste your time with this film. It's only worth watching if you're trapped on a long flight and have already read Sky Magazine cover to cover.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Failure to Launch, March 15, 2006
By 
Michael Zuffa (Racine, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Trip (McConaughey) is a 35 year old that still lives with Mom (Bates) and Dad (Bradshaw). They do everything for him, and they are his ticket out of serious relationships. One day, Mom and Dad hire Paula (Parker), an "interventionist" who specializes in getting kids out of their parents homes. Her plan: get Trip to fall in love with her which will make him want to break away from his parents. Of course, things do not go smoothly and Paula finds herself falling in love. When Trip's friends find out what she does for a living, things get even worse for Paula.

"Failure to Launch" is a so-so movie. Fans of the romantic comedy will probably like the film, but there is nothing special about it. There is little chemistry between McConaughey and Parker, and the side stories are a bit too silly. The film has an uneven feel to it, almost as if the B-story was added just to pad the running time. There are some genuine laughs, but they are too few and far bewteen. This is for fans of romantic comedies only.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Supporting Cast Rules, May 22, 2006
By 
tvtv3 "tvtv3" (Sorento, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker star in this romantic comedy about a thirty-something who still lives at home. McConaughey plays Tripp, a thirty-something boat salesman who still lives with his parents in Baltimore, Maryland (surprisingly, Baltimore looks a lot like some of the towns in Western California, palm trees and all). His parents, Al & Sue (played by Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates) love their son, but want him out of the house and in a place of his own. Desperate, his parents call in a specialist, Paula (played by Sarah Jessica Parker). Paula has made a job out of pretending to fall in love with men so that they will move out on their own. The only problem is that Tripp isn't like the typical man Paula has worked with before: he's tall, tan, dresses well, and earns good money. All of her other previous clients apparently were short, fat, fan-boy types who could barely hold down a part-time job. Paula ends up falling in love with Tripp. Tripp realizes this and tries to get her to break up with him before things get serious. Apparently Tripp likes women but is only interested in them long enough to get what he wants. Tripp ends up falling for Paula and the two end up in a collision course that seems to derail, but is really nothing more than a pit stop.

I was surprised and ended up enjoying FAILURE TO LAUNCH somewhat. Most of this was because of the supporting cast. Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates make a great couple and have some really funny lines. However, all of the other performers are completely upstaged by the performances of Zooey Deschanel as Paula's housemate, Kit, and Justin Bartha as Tripp's best friend, Ace. Ace originally appears as a kind of slacker fan-boy, kind of like the people that Paula normally help "launch" into their own lives. But, Ace really isn't like that. He ends up on a date with Kit as a bribe from Paula to keep quite about secrets he has unraveled. The two end up becoming a pair after Ace uses a Red Ryder BB gun (thanks A CHRISTMAS STORY) to shoot a mockingbird outside her bedroom window that has given her insomnia for several weeks. Deschanel and Bartha steal every scene they are in and their love story is more romantic than that of Tripp and Paula (not to mention how much better their acting is).

FAILURE TO LAUNCH is a movie than many women will enjoy watching. There are a few jokes that are aimed at guys, but the people who put this film together knew that the core audience of this film is women. Still, with that in mind, I find some of the film's messages a bit disconcerting. I realize that perception in the U.S. has changed dramatically recently, but there was a time in the U.S. when it was common, actually it was expected, that children would remain living at their family homes until they were married. The family was the core and both men and women remained at home to support their families until they had families of their own. Even after marriage, many families ended up living in the same homes and neighborhoods. That idea of life seems to be lost in postmodern suburbia super-sized America, but it's actually the norm in most other countries of the world. The movie also seems to say that unless you're a tall, thin, tan, handsome man, you really don't have much chance of ever being involved in a relationship (Ace looks more like an average Joe, but he's still too handsome). As for women, the message seems to be that the only guys worth being in a relationship with are men who don't exist. These messages provide a lot of laughs, but fail to launch the movie into a realm of meaning and purpose.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shouldn't work...but it does, September 9, 2006
Tripp (the latest in a long line of lovable slackers played by Matthew McConaughey) has a great job, fun friends, and an easygoing life. He doesn't even have to worry about the things that should bother him - like the fact that he lives with his parents. (In our society, we can "contextualize" mobsters into family men, drug dealers into businessmen and terrorists into freedom fighters, but there's no getting around the fact that you live with your parents.) Though they love him, Tripp's parent (Terry Bradshaw & Kathy Bates) would like nothing more than to get rid of him, so they hire Paula (Parker) to steal his heart without breaking it and then drag it out of the house. Paula has her rules, but Tripp proves to be more than an open and shut case of "failure to launch", and soon she finds he's become her case as much as he has become hers.

Did you ever watch a movie for the first time and manage to able to guess exactly what a character would say, or what would happen next? "Failure" has a bunch of moments like that - mostly involving Paula's death-Goth roommate Kit (Zooey Descahnel from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") or Tripp's fellow man-child friends, or his father's obsession with nudity, or various acts of cruelty against (or perpetrated by) animals. "Failure" has many of those moments, yet it's still an endearing comedy. Never flat-out funny, "Failure" still manages to bring a smile to your face. It's a movie that should fail - but the cast makes a game go of it, keeping things light enough to get things launched by the story's end.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining - watch for the cute creatures, December 9, 2006
A light and watchable romantic comedy as it should be. What's new is the parents' desire for the 35-year old son Tripp(Matthew Maconaughey)to leave home and be independent. And when he does, the parents can enjoy or dread their new found freedom.

What impresses me are the cameo appearances of a squirrel, a mocking bird, a lizard and lastly, the dolphins. The irony that those adorable sweet creatures can give one the shock in a lifetime is hillariously presented here. Zooey Deschanel as Kit is also a delightful and refreshing choice as a cool, slightly eccentric pal. They all make the otherwise formulaic romantic comedy interesting.

A happy ending with Tripp and Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) sailing on a wooden boat is truly to be envied.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 3/4 stars, July 24, 2006
I watched this movie with some family, and I found that the older the person was in my family, the more they enjoyed this movie. For me, I found it mildly amusing, made a little better by the fabulous Kathy Bates (Great Actress!) I didn't think Matthew and Sarah had all that great of chemistry, so it made their relationship hard to believe. But, it had some good dialogue, and was, overall an ok movie. :)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We should be celebrating our lifestyle", June 30, 2006
This is an entertaining movie. It's fairly funny and the cast works well together. I don't care all that much for Sarah Jessica Parker as a leading lady, but it doesn't work to the detriment of the film, in this case.

Matthew McConaughey does a really good job with his role as a thirty-something man who refuses to leave his parents' home. He has it made living there, but there is the obvious drawback: women are not impressed with his situation. Once he gets women back home, they are usually sent running. Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw are hilarious as his parents. They are definitely a bright point in the movie. Sarah Jessica Parker comes along to try and get Tripp (McConaughey) to finally move out of the house.

This is definitely not a movie that I would care to own, but it is quite a bit better than most romantic comedies.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly funny!, March 19, 2006
By 
Monty Rainey (New Braunfels, TX) - See all my reviews
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It's been a while since I've laughed this hard at a movie. Yes, it's a date movie, and even a borderline "chick-flick", not the type of movie I would normally pay to go see, but with Matthew McConaughey and Kathy Bates, I figured it might be worth it. Then throw in Terry Bradshaw, who is liked by virtually every football fan and whose willingness to poke fun at himself might bring some unexpected humor, I had to check it out. Boy, am I glad I did. As date movies and chick-flicks go, there wasn't much originality, but come on, how much originality does one really expect when watching a date movie/chick-flick?

The plot focuses on an ever-growing problem of a young man (35, hey, that's young to me) who fails to accept responsibility for himself. Rather than becoming a responsible adult, he chooses to continue to have his mother dutifully tend his every need; laundry, cleaning, meals, etc. The weary parents want him out of the house so they can enjoy their golden years in peace in quiet, so they hear about a young woman who, through her dating system, has been successful in encouraging young men such as this, to finally take the step into adulthood. The young woman is hired, the contract is signed and the artificial romance begins.

The movie is just plain funny. McConaughey is his usual charming and witty self, Bates, as expected, plays her part as doting mother magnificently, Bradshaw, who I expected to really just have a few cameo appearances, takes an active roll in the movie and plays his part well with, as I anticipated, some very unexpected humor. I'm no fan of Sarah Jessica Parker, but she played her part well. The big surprise for me was an actress I didn't know named Zooey Deschanel, who looks like a young Debra Winger and whose dry humor brought the biggest laughs.

I won't spoil anything with more details of the movie, but all-in-all, this was a pleasant surprise and very funny movie. A "chick-flick" that most guys will enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bipolar sidekick steals movie, February 16, 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (Friendswood, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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If you have ever found yourself attracted to a bipolar person check out Paula's sidekick played by Zooey Deschanel. I agree with the other reviewers she is the funniest thing in the movie. But her character also made me see "bipolar" differently. Sure, some of them are impossible and this was only a movie, but they have a bad rap in a society that over emphasizes politically correct under-reaction. Zooey is Jungian complete. She is not dominated by one way or another of reacting to something. She will see and express both pleasure and annoyance at the advances of her suitor. And by the end of the movie, they seem to be having the most fun compared to the lead couple who turn out to be boringly traditional after all.

But I disagree that the main point of the relationship between Paula and Tripp is that it's based initially on deception and falls into that category. This would have been cleared up rather easily. The subtext here is that Paula's entry into the relationship is based on her own past unreliable experiences with men and she tries to substitute a financial relationship for a personal one, like an exotic dancer or an escort. She's a glorified escort by another name. She goes to bed with her clients and does this for money, for crying out loud, how can you gloss over that? :D

This is an exaggerated case, of course. Most women in that situation just get bitter and become casual users of men, not actual escorts. I think the movie manages to explore this issue, its causes, and its cures (which seem to involve seeing the whole context of friends and family), while staying light and funny. We aren't even aware we've been sociologically educated. That's a big achievement. With that plus the wonderful bipolar subplot I had to give this movie 5 stars!
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