Matthew McConaughey Blockbuster Fails- Failure To Launch
Alright, Alright get ready for another Matthew McConaughey Blockbuster Fails as we shine today’s spotlight on Failure To Launch. I remember watching this movie almost every night one summer for some odd reason. Oh the memories.
That one summer where I watched this on repeat we had movies on demand. Every night my sister and I were the only ones still up past 2am. We almost always turned to this gem of a McConaughey film.
Here’s the official storyline from our friends at IMDB.com:
“At 35, Tripp has an interesting job, a hip car, a passion for sailing, and a great house – trouble is, he lives with his parents. They want him out, so they hire Paula, an “interventionist,” who has a formula in these cases: chance encounter, get him to ask her out, involve him in a trauma, meet his friends and get their nod, delay sex, have him teach her something, then launch him. It’s worked up to now, but this gets complicated when Tripp thinks she’s getting too serious and one of his pals is attracted to Paula’s deadpan, semi-alcoholic roommate, who’s plagued by a mockingbird. Too many secrets may scrub the launch, and what if Paula really likes him? Who can intervene then?”
Here’s how the movie went down from my comfy seat at the couch (big thanks to Wikipedia for helping me remember the entire film):
Tripp played by none other than Matthew McConaughey is a 35-year-old man still living with his parents. His parents are Al (played Terry Bradshaw) and Sue (played by Kathy Bates). Tripp is nothing but happy, he has no motivation what so ever to move out. Who wouldn’t want to date this hunk? Al and Sue on the other hand are not happy. They find out that close friends had an adult son just like Tripp who recently moved away. What made this Tripp a-like move out? These parents did some research and hired an expert to get him to fall in love, get a broken heart, and move out. Great parenting 101.
Who could the expert possibly be? This lovely expert is Paula (played by Sarah Jessica Parker). Her approach to get men to magically change is to establish a relationship with the man, build up his confidence and transfer his attachment from his parents to her. Her step-by-step process is deceitful. She avoids physical intimacy, and she allows her “subject” to fall in love with her. She uses the typical act by pretending to like what he likes, allowing him to help her through a (false) crisis, obtaining the approval of his friends, and giving him the opportunity to teach her something: he then moves out to become more independent. Boom magic plan right? You can’t already foresee that she will fall in love with Tripp, and that her plan may backfire. Nope not at all! The movie is already figured out in the first 15 minutes. BAM.
Paula discovers that Tripp does not fit any of Paula’s previous profiles, meaning: he has no normal social skills and he has no problems with self-esteem. He does not commit to long term relationships, and uses his living with parents as a dumping mechanism. Brilliant. What better way to end a relationship then to have a girl friend meet the parents! After an awkward encounter with his parents, Paula stays for the night, all the while developing real feelings for him. Oh no! That’s not part of her job description!
Paula’s hip roommate, Kit (played by Zooey Deschanel) believes that Paula’s own breakup with a live-at-home man is the unhealthy motivation behind the job to which she has given over her whole life. By the way, Zooey truly makes this movie. She is the boulder that truly kept me interested the entire time. She is an amazing actor. Bravo!
Paula soon plays Scooby Doo and finds out the reason for Tripp’s situation. His life collapsed when the woman he was engaged to suddenly died, leaving him emotionally devastated, and his family has been his source of solace ever since. So now the movie turns a little bit deeper. Paula feels a bit like a jerk now, as she should.
Ace, best friend to Tripp, discovers what is going on with what Paula is getting paid to do. However he does not tell Tripp, he uses this information for his own benefit. He blackmails Paula for a date with Kit. The pair bond over a problem and fall in love. The problem? A bird chirping to loud. Yup, fact.
Ace spills the beans to another friend, who in turn ultimately reveals all to Tripp, leading to the film’s ultimate crisis. Tripp confronts both his parents and Paula, who split in bitterness and guilt, and Tripp moves out, possibly never to speak to his parents or trust a woman again. Racked with nothing but guilt, Paula refunds Al and Sue’s money, but can’t escape being scathingly dressed down by Kit for essentially being an arrogant con artist.
Tripp manages to eventually forgive his parents despite not understanding why they couldn’t be upfront with him. Still, he can’t forgive Paula for her manipulations.
Parents and friends devise a plan to reconcile the two lovers. They tie up and gag Tripp and lock the two of them together in a room while a contrite Paula pours her heart out to him. In the end, it seems that love, and moving out of one’s parents’ house, is all part of following nature’s course. Yup that’s the movie in a nut shell.
(Photo by Failure To Launch/Facebook)