This will be a short review because the story is short even though it lasts 97 minutes ($8.50 for the matinee here in L.A.!). I can only give the basic premise of the movie or I’d give away the ending (yeah, right.)
A gorgeous, blonde, successful thirty-five year old man, Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) still lives at home. His parents (played by Kathy Bates who provides some maternal insight, and former football player Terry Bradshaw) know it’s the end of every relationship Tripp has with a girl when he finally brings her home and she discovers he still lives at home. So the parents hire a gorgeous, blonde, sucessful life coach (Sarah Jessica Parker) to lure him from the nest to life in the real world. You can pretty much write the rest of the script.
On the back page of today’s New York Times Book Review section there is a quote from Harper Lee’s wonderful 1960 book, To Kill a Mockingbird: “Remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (This original from Bauman’s Rare books, inscribed by Lee, sells for $35,000.00) If you want to enjoy Failure to Launch, forget McConaughey and Parker, set aside the always great Kathy Bates and Bradshaw who bares his bum to no special effect (is he trying to say when you shed your kids it’s like walking around naked? Maybe). Forget McConaughey’s two pals, played by Justin Bartha and Bradley Cooper, even though they are likeable enough.
The real treat of this film is Zooey Deschanel who plays Parker’s roommate, Kit. Kit is tormented by a mockingbird that lives in the garden. In her pursuit to rid her world of that mockingbird (i.e. launch it elsewhere), in the midst of a film that gives you the ending from the get-go, emergesthe film’s true comedy and evokes deep laughter.
Wait for the DVD on this one, unless you want to enjoy America’s next best comedienne on the big screen.