Failure to Launch Tom Dey

There is, apparently, a new wave of adults who fail to leave the nest long after graduating. The trend is worth exploring but don’t expect it to happen in Failure to Launch. Here, we’re treated to the highly particular phenomenon of Tripp (Matthew McConaughey), a successful 35-year-old who lives at home so as to repel the encroachment of women who care about him. Enter Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), a wily woman hired by Tripp’s parents (Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates) to coax him out of their top floor and who makes the serious error of falling in love with him. The dictionary definition of "contrived,” this invents pathology for him and a specialised career for her for a combo that could never exist outside of a cheesy romantic comedy. Nothing in the movie rings true: when the film erects an 11th-hour trauma to make the hero sympathetic, the surprise goes over like a Cessna crashing into your head. Needless to say, the normally dependable Zooey Deschanel is wasted on the stereotypical "difficult roommate” role, and don’t even ask about the constantly attacking chipmunks, dolphins and lizards that show our man to be "out of touch with nature.” Many reviewers have expressed disgust for this movie but mostly it’s just the standard rom-com blah — the stuff of creative writing or exciting cinema seldom makes it into the genre and this movie is no exception. Extras include a fairly standard "making of,” a decent featurette on the stay-at-home adult phenomenon, an only tangentially connected clip on modern dating, a grisly unfunny segment of "Moviefone Unscripted” with McConaughey and Bradshaw cracking wise, and the finalists of a "free rent for six months” contest duking it out for the prize. (Paramount)