Let’s look at the data. IMDB gives the movie a 7.1. That’s solid. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 38%. That’s crushing and unjustified in my book. The gross so far is $15.4 million. Yikes. It’s bombing people! Why?
This movie did look pretty predictably shitty from the previews. Robert Downey Jr. has always seemed like a tool to me and I really only went because I blindly support anything Zach Galafianakis does. I’m a good guy. My people can always count on me!
But, people, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It made me laugh…HARD. It’s stupid and insanely predictable, but in the end, the laugh is all that matters. And Due Date delivered. (Wow… nice)
Everyone has that star, show, band, or thing “they discovered” before everyone else. I don’t have many, but without reservation I’ve been on the Galafianakis boat for a long, long time. Most likely, when you boarded (after The Hangover I presume), I was there to give you a life preserver and tour.
You know I’m a long time fan, if I didn’t even have to double-check the spelling of his name to write this piece. Ok, I did, but the song remains the same. How many of you know his middle name is Granddad?
I don’t know how to feel about Zach in movies yet. He notoriously belongs as a stand up comedian, but nobody (except perhaps George Carlin) wants to do that forever—it’s a tough life.
As a long time standup, Zach built a cult audience for experimenting with awkward silences and having EXTREMELY dry comedic timing usually to the tune (oooh) of a piano. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen. It’s why he’s the best. Pick up Live at the Purple Onion if you’ve never seen the man perform outside of the big screen. His brand of humor unfortunately never translated into movies until The Hangover. And now Zach Galafianakis is one of the most in demand movie personalities in the world. Who knew!?
He’s had two movies come out over the last month or so. The updated, yet not as serious One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest indie outfit lovingly titled It’s Kind of a Funny Story. And the latest is a more flamboyant version of his Hangover character working again with genius screenwriter/director Todd Phillips (Road Trip, Old School, Hangover).
Due Date is your classic mismatched pair goes across the country, everything goes wrong, Planes, Trains and Automobiles story. It’s been done many times before (even by Phillips himself), but this still remains a worthwhile viewing…because of Robert Downey Jr.
Did you read this right? Galafianakis junkie Ryan C. Zerfas claims that Robert Downey Jr., an actor he didn’t even like previously, makes a movie with his all-time favorite comedian, someone he would blindly support through Out Cold (good movie by the way). And Downey is the hero? Yes.
Perhaps it’s my own obsession with Galafianakis, but when I see him in these movies I feel like I’ve seen these jokes before. It’s still very funny, but a funny like when you’ve seen a movie a thousand times. You know what’s coming before it’s said, even if you’ve never seen the movie before. You look forward to it, but it doesn’t strike you—in a laugh out loud funny sort of way—like a joke done for the first time.
Robert Downey Jr. plays a character much like Richard Dreyfus in What About Bob. He has your respect as a classy dignified human being, but you know he’s out of his mind. It’s a good spot to be in as a character. It allows him to bring down the house when he spits on Zach’s dog or when he punches a drug dealer’s kid. Hilarious stuff. He KILLED it in this movie!
I feel this movie for Downey Jr. is much like Bad Santa for Billy Bob Thorton. It puts him on the Zerfas map—in a hurry. Like Billy Bob before Bad Santa I never understood what all the fuss was about. Downey was in movies like Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, and Tropic Thunder. I just have never understood why he’s so “storied” or why he’s garnered such respect. It all doesn’t matter now, because he kicked the shit out of Due Date and will always be a legend in my mind.
And we all know that’s all that matters.
As I get older, stupid movies make me laugh less and less. When one comes through, it’s a joyous occasion. Due Date was funnier than any of the summer comedies I saw. So, perhaps it’s a renter, but it’s certainly not a clunker.