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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Autumn 2006

Failure to Launch movie review

Paula's job is more of a calling, really. She works for parents who would like to become empty-nesters, but who can't get their sons to move out. Paula has a protocol, she meets them, she engages their interest, she improves their self confidence, and presto -- they are flying on their own.

What do you do when your kids just won't leave home? They're not kids anymore, they are grown men and women with, hopefully, their own lives, who won't get out there and live them. Who can blame them? If staying home means no rent, no cleaning, no cooking, no responsibilities and an all around better standard of living than they could afford themselves.

Enter Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker). She can carry on a conversation about Star Wars, she understands the importance of the friends' opinions, she knows the male psyche and isn't afraid to use it. But Paula is also just a bit overconfident.

Movie poster, Failure to Launch; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Failure to Launch
To leave the nest, some men just need a little push.

When Paula meets Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) at the furniture store where his parents (Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw) are buying matching recliners, she is ready to put her plan into action, step by step. For him living at home is the ultimate in girlfriend-dumping tools: let them know you live with your parents and they are gone.

Failure to Launch is a romantic comedy that shows both sides of the stay-at-home generation. Tripp's friends are fun, and Paula's housemate Kit (Zooey Deschanel) is an excellent voice of reason.

Despite what it seems this film starts out seeming predictable and then keeps twisting as we discover that people can't just be put into pigeon-holes, and nor can their actions.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 10 March 2006
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

See also: Matthew McConaughey (Sahara, Mud, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Edtv, Amistad, Contact, The Newton Boys); Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City 2, Mars Attacks!, The First Wives' Club)

Just the facts:

Title: Failure to Launch (2006)
Written by: Tom J. Astle & Matt Ember
Directed by: Tom Dey
running time: 97 mins
rating: M

The Players: Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Bartha, Bradley Cooper, Kathy Bates,

Official website:
IMDb entry

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