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“Due Date”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Okay, let’s just get the obvious out of the way here first. Due Date is a blatant rip-off of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. There, I’ve said it. I don’t think it’s that much of a secret. I mean anyone who has seen Planes, Trains, and Automobiles could tell you that, just from seeing the trailer. And I must admit, the first time I saw Due Date, that fact weighed deeply in my enjoyment of the movie. Yes, it’s true that there are plenty of movies out there, that are just like every other movie you’ve ever seen. And yes, it is also true that every idea out there has been done like a million times before, and because of that I found myself enjoying Due Date a whole lot more the second time around. I also found myself quoting the movie every now and again, which to me are the signs of a good movie.

In Due Date, Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is traveling home to Los Angeles, where his pregnant wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) is about to give birth to the couple’s first child. Like all fathers-to-be, Peter is rather high strung… Actually, it seems like he’s always high strung. But, that gets taken to a whole new level, when thespian Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) enters the picture. Due to a slight misunderstanding, both Peter and Ethan are removed from the fight to LA, and are placed on a “No Fly” list by the TSA. To top the whole thing off, Peter’s wallet is still on the plane, and he quickly finds himself stranded with no cash. The end. No! This is a road trip movie! Of course Ethan rents a car, and the annoying, over confident, human tornado of disaster that is Ethan Tremblay offers Peter a lift to Los Angeles.

Here’s the thing, Galifianakis is funny, but his character is way too close to the character he played in Todd Phillips‘ other big hit The Hangover. To be brutally honest, this could have been The Hangover 1.5: Alan’s Big Adventure. It’s not enough to ruin the movie, but it does enter you mind from time to time. Robert Downey Jr. on the other hand, plays a great asshole. It’s a nice throw back to his Weird Science days. The pairing of these two actors is great. I just wish the story and characters could have been a little bit more original. In Todd Phillips’ defense, The Hangover is a hard movie to follow, and Due Date might not be as great, but there’s a lot to be enjoyed here. Phillips gets an amazing performance out of Juliette Lewis as a drug dealer, much like he did with Heather Graham in The Hangover. Like I said earlier, I’ve seen this movie twice now, and I definitely enjoyed it more the second time around. There are a lot of fun moments, some really good laughs, and overall Due Date is a decent night at the movies.

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“The Switch”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It might not be the most believable or plausible storyline of the year, but the new Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman movie The Switch just might surprise you. It’s a rom/com that deals with artificial insemination, and a situation that would definitely make Three’s Company proud. In The Switch, Wally (Bateman), a full blown hypochondriac and self saboteur, finds out that his best friend, Kassie (Aniston), wants to have a kid, but also doesn’t want to have to wait any longer for Mr. Right to come along. So, of course she decides to go the artificial insemination route, and her friend Debbie, played by Juliette Lewis, decides to throw her an insemination party where the actual insemination will take place. Who needs a hospital, right? Well, an inebriated Wally manages to lose Kassie’s “sample,” and he ends up replacing it with his own special blend unbeknownst to her. This is kind of where you need to suspend your disbelief a little bit, but the movie is so well written that it doesn’t even really seem to matter. The movie is based on the short story “The Baster” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides, who also penned The Virgin Suicides. The other thing that really helps this movie is Jason Bateman’s performance. It’s not ground breaking by any means, but it is Bateman doing what he does best, and the chemistry between him and Aniston is fantastic! Not to mention the outstanding performance by young actor Thomas Robinson, who plays Kassie’s son Sebastian. At times you forget you’re watching a 6-year-old kid. I really enjoyed this one. I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a big fan of good rom/coms, and I’ve got to tell you we’ve got some really good ones coming out before the end of this year, and The Switch is definitely one of them. Sure it’s predicable and a little unrealistic at times, but it’s got a nice heart to it and plenty of laughs. Jeff Goldblum also gives a great preference as Wally’s boss and good friend. I’m looking forward to seeing this one again, and if you get the chance to see it, I’m sure you’ll find that it’s well worth your movie watching time.

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