This Week at the Movies: Due Date



Due Date is a South Park feature film; without the original characters of course. With all the coarseness, inappropriateness, boorishness and offensiveness that South Park has been a bea­con of, Due Date finds its structure. Depending on what you think of South Park, this movie will be hilarious; or not. Due Date treads the shaky line between slapstick and funny and often finds itself in both territories at once. While it does draw some cheap laughs and does fail in its apparently “emotional” moments, Due Date is funny enough to watch once. And its offensive jokes are offensive enough to not let down the South Park purists.

Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.), a very successful architect, is on his way to Los An­geles, where his wife is going to give birth to their child (hence “due date”). At the airport, he meets Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), an aspiring actor who is a big fan of the show Two and a Half Men, and who wishes to be on the show. Highman and Tremblay end up sitting one behind the other on the same plane. When Tremblay sees Highman sending out a text message, Tremblay tells him to put the cell phone away, or other people might think that he is a terrorist setting off a bomb. Highman tells him not to use the words “terrorist” and “bomb” that loudly. But Tremblay continues, and they both are kicked off the plane and put on a “no-fly” list. Highman’s baggage is on its way to LAX already, along with his wallet. He is forced to join Tremblay who can actually afford a rental car. Tremblay needs to buy some weed, so they stop by Heidi’s (Juliette Lewis) house to get some. Tremblay spends $200 of the total $260 he has. Highman is even more shocked when he realizes that Tremblay has maxed out his own credit card. Highman tries to have his wife wire some money to Tremblay, but it doesn’t work because “Tremblay” is just a stage name, and Tremblay’s real last name is “Chase.” So they don’t get the money, and Highman insults the Western Union teller, who turns out to be a disabled veteran. Highman manages to get in touch with his friend Darryl (Jamie Foxx), but he feels guilty about leaving Tremblay behind. So the three of them go to Darryl’s house and they begin to suspect that Highman’s wife (Michelle Monaghan) slept with Darryl. A series of misadventures that involve Mexican border officials, the Grand Canyon and ashes confused for coffee powder follow.

The movie is quite funny but not funny enough to be able to ride on its funniness. Overall, it makes you laugh, but it doesn’t last. It needs something more. The acting is alright, the di­recting is alright, the music is alright, the screenplay is alright and overall the movie is alright. So don’t expect a life changing experience when you watch this. Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis make for a fun journey, though. So you will have to weigh that out when making your decision.