April 14, 2008

Failure To Laugh

Tibby woke me up super early yesterday and when I relocated from my bed to the couch and turned on the TV I realized three very important things: 1) there really isn't anything good on TV at 6:30 on a Sunday morning, 2) I TiVo all the good guilty pleasure stuff in my room and 3) it takes too long to transfer the recordings downstairs and too much energy to get up and find a DVD that tickles my fancy that early in the morning. So I decided to settle for whatever movie I could find on TV that was just starting.

Unfortunately, that movie ended up being Failure To Launch.

I had absolutely no intention of ever watching Failure To Launch. When it came out in theaters I saw the trailers and thought someone must have handed out sexual favors to get it green lit because...I mean, really? His parents pay a woman to trick him into moving out of their house at the ripe ol' age of 35ish? Why didn't they just kick his slacker-ass out 15 years earlier without the aid of a fake girlfriend?

And it's categorized as a romantic comedy but...I found it pretty light on both. Actually, to be fair, there were at least two things that made me laugh - Zooey Deschanel and the fact that Matthew McConaughey never tries to hide his Texas accent and yet people just keep casting him in movies where he is supposedly from Philadelphia or whatever (in the case of my favorite bit of ridiculousness - How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days where his character was born and raised on Long Island. Where, I think we all know, people are prone to a Southern drawl).

I'm not sure if any of you has ever seen Matt Damon on David Letterman but if you have then you've most likely had the pleasure of hearing his Matthew McConaughey impression. Letterman has him do it pretty much every time he comes on because it's truly brilliant. Matt, as if talking to a director on-set and in his very best laid-back, Texas stoner accent offers to take his shirt off for a particular scene. I'm pretty sure that he even drops a couple of patented "alright, alright, alright"s in there to make it rock that much harder. I love it so much that I once saved an episode of Letterman featuring that impression on the TiVo for over 6 months just so I could hear it whenever the mood struck. Now that I think about it, I'm kind of pissed at myself for ever deleting it.

Anyway, the point is, the impression is funny because it's true. He spends a lot of time in movies sans shirt and this movie was no exception - when he DID bother to wear a shirt, he only buttoned two of the buttons so that it left a fair amount of McFlesh on display. I get it, the dude is nice to look at. If he wanted to come over to my house and do yard work without a shirt on, I wouldn't turn him down. If he wanted to sit in my living room baked out of his mind playing the bongos at 2 in the morning in his birthday suit, I'd totally let him. Honestly, he's even sort of charmingly charismatic on screen, though his range is limited to say the least. But am I the only one who sees movies like this, remembers what used to be and gets very, very sad?

He had a lot of promise in Dazed and Confused. I mean, at the time it seemed so anyway, turns out his portrayal of a twenty-something stoner who hangs with the high school crowd because he just can't seem to grow up, might have been a stroke of type-casting genius but man, did his star seem bright then. And I liked him a lot in A Time To Kill - no one, but no one sweats through a linen suit like McC. It makes me sad to see him fall so deeply into the romcom abyss.

If he is going to keep whoring himself out to these projects for paychecks that will keep him and his progeny in Gulf Streams and sunscreen until the end of days, the least he could do is pick a few that are lighter on the "rom" and heavier on the "com" because Failure to Launch was NOT FUNNY.

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