03/11/2010

Due Date

The Hangover was made on a budget of $35 million, had no A-list stars and was directed by a man who just helmed an enormous turkey. Things did not look good but because it's awesome, the film went on to become America's tenth highest grossing film of 2009, America's highest selling DVD before the release of Avatar, nabbed a worldwide gross of $467 million and won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy. Now, how exactly does one follow up that kind of hit? If you're Todd Phillips, the answer is to take some of the bits that worked in The Hangover, change the baby to a dog, swap one black man (Mike Tyson) for another black man (Jamie Foxx) and add a huge dollop of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Since I'm inherently obsessed with The Hangover (it was my number one film of 2009) there were a few other things that I couldn't help but notice.

The Deadline


In The Hangover they had two days to find their missing friend before his wedding and in Due Date, Peter Highman (RDJ) has to get back to LA before his wife gives birth to their first child.

The Weirdo


After speaking to Ryan Fleck, director of It's Kind Of A Funny Story, last week he told me that Zach Galifinakis was uncomfortable with the instant fame that The Hangover gave him. Why then did he decide to essentially play the same character in this? I'm confused. 

The Music


About 5 minutes in I found the eerily familiar score impossible to ignore. That probably has something to do with the fact that Christophe Beck composed the score for this and The Hangover although I'm not sure that he would've been instructed to do the exact same thing again. Apart from that, the film is littered with rap songs and it creates a tone and style that's just too similar to not notice.

Due Date may not be the most original film ever but I did chortle throughout and find more than a few moments laugh out loud funny. So yes, it's the comedy of the year but I think that reflects more on the fact that Hollywood can't create any good comedies these days instead of Due Date's actual merits. 3 stars.