If you liked THE HANGOVER
, youíll love DUE DATE
This dysfunctional ďbromanceĒ follows Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) and Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) on the road trip to pandemonium. Imagine every single thing that could go wrong on a road trip, and you still wonít come close to the calamities that Peter and Ethan encounter on the way to L. A. from Atlanta. In the tradition of THE HANGOVER, the humor is over-the-top and CRAZY funny. But, if youíre offended by foul language, unattractive body parts and/or secretions, or rampant drug use, you should avoid this film at all costs. Otherwise, get ready for endless sight gags and belly laughs!
Peter and Ethan are traveling to L.A. for different reasons, but they get kicked off the plane for the same reason: a severe lapse in judgment. Peter is going home from a business trip to be on time for the birth of his first child, only days away. Ethan is going to break into show business following the death and cremation of his father (cremains in a coffee can). Through a series of mishaps, they end up departing in Ethanís rent car, along with his dog Sonny. What Sonny does is unexplainable - you just have to see it. Of course, they donít arrive in that rent car because Ethan is a lunatic and Peter has temper problems. This film works because these two actors play splendidly off each other and have impeccable senses of comic timing. They are both also able to give their characters depth so that theyíre not just caricatures, which they well could have been in less skillful hands.
The other characters are pretty much peripheral. Michelle Monaghan plays Peterís wife Sarah adequately. She has little to do but look pregnant, worried, and freak out when she thinks Peter isnít going to make it in time. Jamie Foxx does a brief turn as Peterís friend who lives in Dallas and helps out by lending the two hapless men a car. The original rent car? Donít ask; donít tell! Let me just say that the stunt coordinator and stunt drivers should be well commended. Foxx also provides the basis for one of the sight gags set up, unintentionally, by Ethan. Juliette Lewis is a stand-out as a wacky stoner-dealer for Ethanís ďmedicalĒ marijuana (glaucoma Ė yeah, right), another running gag in the film.
DUE DATE shows why Robert Downey Jr. is one of the finest actors working in film. Galifianakis is good, but the film works so well because of Downey. With his world-weary expression and sardonic line delivery, heís the perfect foil for Galifianakisís zaniness. So, if you like the ďI-canít-believe-Iím-laughing-at-THIS brand of humor,Ē your week-end plans have been made. Youíre going to see DUE DATE!