Due Date Review - A Mindless Light Comedy

Due Date Review

The light, and very predictable, comedy Warner Brothers' Due Date opens in theatres on November 5th, 2010.   Directed by Todd Philips ( Hangover) and written by Alan R Cohen, Alan Freedland, Adam Sztykeil, and Mr. Philips with the story by   Cohen and Freeland, the film was produced by Thomas Tull, Susan Downey and Scott Budnick.   Producer Dan Goldberg, who also worked on Hangover with Philips, added experienced costume designer Louse Mingenbach, who told much of the story in the clothes of the characters.  


Due Date Review: Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey, Jr.

Reminding me of an older story ( Planes, Trains and Automobiles,) this road trip story evolves around Peter Highman ( Robert Downey Jr) an uptight architect wanting to get back to Los Angeles for the birth of his first child.   He has the misfortune to literally run into aspiring actor, laid back disaster magnet Ethan Tremblay ( Zach Galifianakis.)    When Ethan’s on plane inappropriate remarks causes both Peter and himself to be cast off and put on the no fly list, Peter finds that everything he has is still on the plane.  


Due Date Review: Zach and Juliette Lewis - the drug deal

Stranded without his wallet, credit cards or cash, Peter has no choice but to ride to Los Angeles with Ethan and his canine friend.   Edgy, controlling and dealing with anger management issues, Peter must keep himself in check in order to get back to Los Angeles.  


Due Date Review: A very pregnant wife, Michelle Monaghan

Ethan, who tells Peter that his personality needs some work, tries to engage the tight lipped Peter into conversation, but finds his new friend is no fun.   Peter, on the other hand, comes to realize that for Ethan everything seems to be about fun.   He learns that Ethan, having just cremated his father, is at an emotional cross roads, not unlike himself.   Wanting desperately to make it in Hollywood, Ethan has focused his efforts on the show “Two and a Half Men”, not caring how he does it.   He eventually gets on the show, much to the surprise of Peter and his wife.  


Due Date Review: Zach and canine star, Sonny

Because Ethan is driving, Peter is unable to object when they stop at a drug dealer’s house for Ethan’s weed. Then Peter learns that Ethan has spent all their road money on the drugs and, forced to call his wife to wire money, only to get beaten up by a veteran at Western Union as he attempts to collect the cash. 

Due Date Review: Zach is left behind

 These two men with zero chemistry, constantly butt heads, generating tension and what comedy is there.  


Due Date Review: Zach and Juliette

Adventures pile up as Ethan falls asleep at the wheel, insinuates that Peter’s best friend, Daryl, ( Jamie Fox) is having an affair with Peter’s wife, and gets them into custody at the Mexican border.  

 Despite it all, Peter does get back in time to see his wife momentarily before she delivers and before he faints with pain and blood loss.  


Due Date Review: A long distance relationship

Character arcs are in place as each man changes and learns from the other, but again everything is predictable.  

Due Date Review: Director Todd Philips with Robert Downey and Zach Galifianakis

 The dialogue is mostly crisp and bouncy, which adds to the flavor of the story, but again much is predictable.   There are some funny moments in the story, but a lot of the comedy comes from shock humor (the masturbating dog.)   Other moments are pure improv as the two personalities clash.  

Due Date Review: A friend in need - Robert and Jamie Fox (Darryl)

Rated R for sex and drugs, the comedy also stars Michelle Monaghan (the wife), Juliette Lewis (Heidi,the drug dealer) and Jamie Fox (Daryl.)  

Due Date Review - leaving the hospital

Like Hangover, the film is a good escape tool for a few hours of mindlessness.  


Due Date Review: Director Todd Philips

Director of Photograhy Lawrence Sher, Production Designer Bill Brzesski and editor, Debra Neil Fisher also previously worked with Phillips on Hangover.   Christopher Beck composed. Other production companies involved were Legendary Pictures, and Green Hat Films.

 On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 7.5 for escapism and mindless comedy.  

 For more information about the movie go to www.duedatemovie.com.


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