"There are worse ways to spend 97 minutes.Like watching The Wedding Planner."
Sign No. 479 that you’ve just been duped into watching a chick flick – The last frame features Matthew McConaughey frolicking with a dolphin.That’s right, everyone’s favorite naked bongo playing, drawling Texas stoner is back for another moderately tolerable yet instantly forgettable trip through rom-com land, which is at least better than a return visit to dwarf movie land or fire-breathing dragon land.
Suspending disbelief long enough to accept that the genes of Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates could possibly produce pretty boy McConaughey, the high-concept Failure to Launch finds Bradshaw and Bates frustrated by their 35-year-old slacker son’s insistence on living at home despite a lucrative gig as a boat broker and a harem of willing ladies.
To expedite an empty nest (and give Bradshaw the “naked room” he longs for), the pair hire “interventionist” Sarah Jessica Parker, whose job consists of tricking emotionally stunted, socially inept grown sons out of their parents’ basements and into the real world. Parker’s technique consists of infusing these Star Wars-obsessed dweebs (typified by Patton Oswalt in an amusing bit) with enough confidence to strike out on their own by pretending to fall for them. That task proves more difficult with McConaughey, an immature lothario who uses his stay-at-home-son status to ward off any woman inching too close and to avoid dealing with a painful past relationship that feels much too melodramatic for a film this otherwise trifling.
Of course, McConaughey eventually discovers the truth. Of course, Parker has fallen for his naked bongo playing, drawling Texas stoner charms by then. And of course, the pair work it out and live a happy, dolphin-frolicking existence together.
Partly because they’re more interesting than the mismatched leads and partly because without them and a string of unfunny animal attacks the sitcom-y premise would never reach its minimal running time, director Tom Dey (he of buddy movies Showtime and Shanghai Noon) spends as much time focusing on peripheral characters as his stars. Sometimes, those digressions are to the film’s benefit (a romance between Parker’s abrasive roommate Zooey Deschanel and McConaughey’s basement dwelling mamma’s boy pal Justin “I was the retarded kid in Gigli” Bartha). Sometimes they aren’t (any scene with McConaghey’s annoying, vaguely defined New Age-y pal Bradley Cooper of Wedding Crashers fame).This is strictly “Date Night” rental fare for those hoping to be making out before the end credits roll. A word of advice on that count – you might not want to wait too long before making your move, because nothing kills a mood faster than Terry Bradshaw’s naked ass.