Failure to Launch
Look at me! I’m Leatherface!

Theatrical Release Date: 03/10/2006
Director: Tom Dey
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel

I know, I know. Why in the hell would I see this movie? Aside from my desire to see a film with a title so easy to manipulate into a review, a friend of mine wanted to see it and since I am her girlfriend, I obliged.

But as a guy who is really a girl to other girls (a therapist would be able to put Ghana through college with the fees I’d have to pay), I at least was comforted by the knowledge that one of my favorite actresses had a supporting role, that being the lovely and adorable Zooey Deschanel.

From one of my favorite films, “All the Real Girls” to her roles in “The Good Girl” and “Eulogy”, I will probably see any film she’s involved with. And considering “Failure to Launch” has Sarah Jessica Parker as one of its leads, that says A LOT.

For all you “Sex in the City” fanatics, do two things for me now: Calm down and jump off a bridge. Seriously, as much as I loved Ms. Parker in “Flight of the Navigator”, she does absolutely NOTHING for me at this point. Actually, for most of the film, I kept thinking she looked like a transsexual.

Getting to the other lead actor, Matthew McConaughey, I realize his character (retardedly named Tripp) is supposed to be an outdoorsy, boat sailing, athletic type. But why was his skin replaced with leather for the film? It looked like he was the bastard son of George Hamilton.

I’m not going to talk a lot about either McConaughey or Parker. They were just barely able to keep afloat in this potential crapfest.

However, what will surprise most of you as it certainly did me, is that I liked this film.

I know, I know. I’m an idiot.

But the subplots and supporting characters were actually entertaining and made “Failure to Launch” more like “Just got off the ground.”

Coming back to the aforementioned Deschanel, she is fantastic in this movie. She’s easily the funniest character and if it wasn’t for her, this film could have lived up to the title.

Helping her keep this film from deserving a narrative beat-down are Tripp’s best friends (played by Bradley Cooper and Justin Bartha) who are far more engaging that McConaughey himself. And Tripp’s parents (Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw) make the living-at-home premise almost work.

Now don’t get me wrong, this film has issues. It’s not all that surprising and there are other subplots that don’t really work. And the partial nudity hinted at in the explanation of the PG-13 rating is for Bradshaw’s posterior (erase, erase). But the Deschanel elements kept me going and I actually left with a smile on my face.

“Failure to Launch” could have been an unmitigated disaster. It had so little going for it and I shudder to think this may help keep Sarah “Man-ica” Parker in the acting field. But I must say, there are worse things for you to be dragged to by your significant others and/or people who call you their bitch.

I’m giving “Failure to Launch” a 3 out of 5 and will just have to hope that the DVD has a Zooey scenes feature so I can skip everything else.