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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Failure To Launch

I can never understand why I belong to the 1% of the entire male population in the world actually partial to romantic comedies and chick flicks. I'm a hopeless romantic, that's long established. After all, I AM a Piscean. But anyway, yes, I don't know what is it about romantic comedies that appeal to me. Fulfilling my fantasies? Hm. Perhaps it's caused by my years-long singledom. But anyway, what do I have to say about this sleeper hit starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker?

Um. Well, like Lune had said, MAYBE I've been bitten by the McConaughey bug or something. Despite never showing himself to be more than an above average actor, and never appearing in an actual great film that I can remember, I just can't make myself hate him at all. Maybe it has to do with the whole Sexiest Man Alive tag, which makes him totally immune from the jealousy and hatred of megalomaniacal bastards like me.

I mean, Reign of Fire IS a tremendous piece of shit. Every single time I hear this title being uttered, I cannot help but feel bile rising up my throat. Yet... yet McConaughey's death scene remains one of the most memorable death scenes in a bad film for me. (He leapt off from a tall building onto a dragon with a manly battle cry while holding his axe... and then gets eaten)

The Wedding Planner remains one of those rare JLo films which I can actually stomach (... more than Maid In Manhattan and Gigli, easily).

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is totally forgettable, and yes, I can't remember a single damned thing in it at all, but I remember enjoying it when I first watched it.

And what else? Ah, last year's Sahara. Matthew McConaughey as an action hero? Er, the film didn't suck either. It's bad, sure, but it's one of those mindless entertainment which had me walking out of the theaters surprised that I actually enjoyed the damned thing!

Maybe it has to do with the fact that the guy is like Keanu Reeves. There's not much diversity or versatility, but you've gotten so used to his screen persona that you just don't mind seeing him sleepwalking through a film being his usual self. The guy pokes fun of his own image, which makes things fun. Yeah. That sly bastard.

As for Sarah Jessica Parker. Mmmm. Well, I have less than flattering things to say, but seriously, maybe it has to do with the makeup artist, or the camera person, or whatever. She really looked, ah, less than flattering in the film. Not having watched a single episode of Sex and the City, I never knew that er, she had a mole on her chin, and thus I ended up wondering why she had such a huge unsightly zit on her throughout the film. I was rather distracted, really.

Failure To Launch is a term used for guys who refuse to move out from their parents. Usually bachelors, and often with low self-esteem and bad social skills. Trip (McConaughey) is 35, and he still lives with his parents (Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates). Whenever a girlfriend becomes too clingy, he brings her home and lets her know that he lives with his parents so that she can dump him.

And therefore, Trip's parents hire Paula (Parker), whose job is to coax such men out of their homes by making them fall in love with her, and once they are out, she will break up with them. So, yeah, it's one of those generic films where our two protagonists' relationship is just a lie, and where we have some brief angsty scene of guilt and separation when one party finds out the truth of another. If my parents actually hire such a person to do this to me, I think I'll be scarred forever. And I'll be so furious with my parents that I would consider cutting all ties with them.

But then, this is rom-com land, so I'm not supposed to pay attention to such details. I don't have to tell you more, because you can most probably guess what happens in this film. Yes, Paula falls in love with Trip, and accidentally breaks her 'no sex with client' policy. Complications occur. And we see how things will resolve for our two main characters.

No, I wasn't interested. There was some mild chemistry going on (...I think), but it's a generic romantic comedy chruned out by Hollywood, so like what I usually do when I watch generic Hollywood romantic comedies, I try spot things that separate it from the others. Hmm. Well, Trip has some interesting friends, likeable enough. Oh, and Trip has pretty bad luck too, geting bitten by a chipmunk, a dolphin and a vegetarian lizard throughout the course of the film. Hah.

The best part about the film? Two words. Zooey Deschanel.

Playing Paula's (possibly psychotic and rather manic-depressive... both characteristics that remind me of, well, myself) roommate, Kit, she totally stole the show from everyone else, making me wish that the film's about her instead of the two leads. I was struck by how familiar she looked, until a quick research in IMDB told me that she was in last year's Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy film as Trillian. Sarcastic and prone to violent mood swings, Kit spent most of the film trying to kill a mockingbird and never having heard of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. Yeah, she was interesting. And with her performance here, I'm definitely DYING to see her other film of the year, Winter Passing, which drew some major raves from Roger Ebert and Cinematical for her acting. Yeaah!

Right. My verdict. Film's nothing special. You won't miss much even if you don't see it. If you really want to see it, see it only for Zooey Deschanel. Yes.

Trailer of the film:

Watch a review of the film:

Watch Zooey Deschanel (YES!) speak about the film during my birthday (YES YES!):

Read other reviews of the film:
James Berardinelli | Hollywood Reporter | Slashed Seat Affairs | David Gagne

If you've done a review of this film as well, or you have any other reviews of this film you want to direct me to, just post it here.

Update (29/4/2006): How come not a single soul mentioned to me that I forgot to put up the videos?