Due Date (2010)
Due Date is more entertaining, more irresistible, and more memorable than any comedy 2011 offered. When Peter (Robert Downey, Jr.) is placed on the no-fly list, he is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan (the hilarious Zack Galifianakis) in order to make it to Los Angeles in time to see the birth of his first child. Ethan unearths deep relationship issues within his companion and almost kills the two, but really it’s just the resulting riotous laughter that makes Due Date one of the funniest comedies in years.
When director Todd Phillips reunited with Zack Galifianakis just a year after The Hangover, audiences knew what to expect. Despite some comparable jokes [The similarly utilized Forrest Gump reference early on in Due Date reminded me of The Hangover’s Rain Man joke, near car crashes occur early in both films due to the drivers’ lack of attention, and even some of the minor cast members (Matt Walsh, for instance) found their way into both movies.], Due Date reached a level The Hangover failed to reach…the ability to keep its comic appeal after multiple viewings. Due Date’s Laugh per Minute ratio (about a .87), a term I just made up, rises far above The Hangover (maybe a .58) after the third viewing. You can’t argue with those statistics.
While it might flop in legitimate drama, it never loses its comedy. Unlike 2011’s Bridesmaids (only about a .29 LPM ratio), it doesn’t take itself too seriously when it discusses deep-rooted emotional issues and avoids delving too deeply into that feminine abyss of melodrama. Twice nominated for an Oscar, Robert Downey Jr. brings heart to the film and makes it a bit more interesting. No one should be surprised when I say Zack Galifianakis is hysterical. While he continues to make low-budget indie flops in his free time, the commercial success of the North Carolinian comic is indisputable. Jamie Foxx has shown us time and time again he should avoid comedies like the plague because he has never shown himself to be as funny as he is laughable.
While there are probably some unlikely scenarios and loose ends, Due Date clearly doesn’t rely on realism for success. And it doesn’t need to. Due Date is a riot, all the comic relief anyone will ever need. And the best part…it never gets old. As far as recent comedies go, it’s a “Bravo!” effort.