Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Due Date

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content
Profanity:Very strong and crude language
Nudity/Sex:Very explicit sexual references and situations
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, extensive drug use
Violence/Scariness:Action-style violence including car crashes, chases, and guns, some injuries
Diversity Issues:Some ethnic and homophobic insults
Movie Release Date:November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 22, 2011

Two obnoxious and unlikeable people are stuck together for an excruciating cross-country road trip that is hard on them and harder on the audience.  It is such a thoroughly unpleasant journey that it forced me to reconsider my previously firm conviction that I would happily watch Robert Downey, Jr. in anything.  I stand corrected.

Downey plays Peter, an architect in Atlanta on business who has to get home to Los Angeles for the birth of his first child.  At the airport he has a meet-uncute encounter with man-boy Ethan (Zach Galifianakis, rapidly depleting the goodwill from his fine performance in “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”).  A few sharp words and an inadvertent exchange of some personal effects and no one but the characters is surprised when they end up on the same flight and are immediately booted off and put on the no-fly list.  And so they have to find a way to get to LA in time for the delivery date and Ethan’s appointment with the agent he hopes will help him become a star.

Peter has an anger problem. After he punches an annoying child in the stomach, we become a lot less interested in making sure he gets home and start to wonder if it might be best for his soon-to-be child that he not be allowed to cross the state line.  And then there is Ethan.  He is creepy, ignorant, needy, and has some major boundary issues, meaning that he doesn’t seem to have any.  Ethan is also transporting a dog and a coffee can containing his father’s ashes. 

Various slapstick catastrophes occur filmed with a surprising lack of energy and interest by director Todd Philips (“The Hangover,” “Old School”), who seems as uncomfortable and distracted. Perhaps that is why he failed to consult with Downey on exactly what his character is supposed to be doing in this film. I don’t mean getting from Atlanta to LA or even having alternate meltdowns and blow-ups. I mean — is he the everyman we are supposed to identify with, a counter-balancing order to Ethan’s chaos?  Is he the guy who seems together on the surface but turns out to be even more of a needy mess than the big delusional baby with the beard and the mincing walk? Is there any way not to wince, given Downey’s real-life history, when his character has to get all trippy?  The ghost of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” haunts this joyless mess.



  • MARTIN S.

    TWO THUMBS DOWN !!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    I feel your pain, Martin! Thanks for writing!

  • Max

    Is there nudity? Is the sexual references too explicit for a mature 14 year old?

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Hi, Max! The movie has a lot of very crude and downright vile sexual material and I would consider it completely inappropriate for a 14-year-old, even a mature one.

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