Failure to Launch

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Failure to Launch
Failure to Launch.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tom Dey
Produced by Scott Rudin
Scott Aversano
Written by Tom J. Astle
Matt Ember
Starring Matthew McConaughey
Sarah Jessica Parker
Zooey Deschanel
Justin Bartha
Bradley Cooper
Terry Bradshaw
Kathy Bates
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography Claudio Miranda
Edited by Steven Rosenblum
Scott Rudin Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates March 10, 2006
Running time 97 minutes
Language English
Budget $50 million
Box office $128,406,887

Failure to Launch is a 2006 American romantic comedy film. In the movie a 35-year-old man lives in the home of his parents and shows no interest in leaving the comfortable life his parents, especially his mother, have made for him there.


Tripp (Matthew McConaughey), a 35-year-old man, is still living with his parents Al (Terry Bradshaw) and Sue (Kathy Bates), in New Orleans. Tripp's best friends Demo (Bradley Cooper) and nerdy Ace (Justin Bartha) are also still living in their parents' homes and seem proud of it. Al and Sue are not happy and are fascinated when friends whose adult son has recently moved away from home, reveal that they hired an expert to arrange the matter.

The expert is Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), who thinks that men continue to live at home out of low self-esteem. Her approach is to establish a relationship with the man to build up his confidence and transfer his attachment from his parents to her. Her step-by-step process is deceitful; while avoiding physical intimacy, she allows her subject to fall in love with her, 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.

Tripp is soon discovered to not fit any of Paula's previous profiles, having normal social skills and no problems with self-esteem. He does not commit to long-term relationships and uses his living situation as an excuse for women to dump him. After an awkward encounter with his parents, Paula thwarts his attempt to dump her and stays for the night, all the while developing real feelings for him. She and Tripp find themselves sailing unfamiliar waters and confide in their friends.

Paula's vocation exasperates her terminally-hip roommate Kit (Zooey Deschanel), who believes that Paula's breakup with a live-at-home man is the unhealthy motivation behind the job to which she has given over her whole life. Paula, on the other hand, is shocked when the true reason for Tripp's situation is revealed to her: his life essentially 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. She read her mark all wrong.

Entrepreneurial Ace discovers what is going on and blackmails Paula for a date with Kit; although Kit is more attracted to slacker Demo, she and Ace wind up bonding over a problem and fall in love. Ace spills the beans to Demo, who in turn ultimately reveals all to Tripp, leading to the film's 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. Wracked with 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.

After an awkward confrontation (due to his father's new interest in naturism), Tripp manages to forgive his parents, despite not understanding why they couldn't be upfront with him. Still, he can't forgive Paula for her manipulations. Tripp's parents and friends devise a plan to reconcile the two lovers. They tie up and gag Tripp and lock him and Paula together in a room, while a contrite Paula pours her heart out to him. In the end, it seems that falling in love and moving out of one's parents' house, are all part of following nature's course. The movie ends with Al and Sue in their empty nest, happily singing "Hit the Road Jack" and Tripp sailing away with Paula on his newly purchased boat (and home).



Box office[edit]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed a total of $24.6 million, ranking first in the United States box office results for that weekend. The film grossed a total of around $90 million in the United States box office and made $128,406,887 worldwide.[1]

Critical response[edit]

The film was poorly received by critics, gaining only 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 143 reviews.[2] Film critic Richard Roeper stated the film was "completely unbelievable". Some otherwise negative reviews singled out Zooey Deschanel's performance as the film's highlight.[3][4][5] One reviewer wrote that "Even with a relatively small role, she blows the whole movie to smithereens".[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Failure to Launch". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Failure to Launch at Rotten Tomatoes
  3. ^ a b Zacharek, Stephanie (10 March 2006). "Failure to Launch". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Rabin, Nathan. "Failure To Launch | Film | Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies". Film Threat. 2006-04-16. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 

External links[edit]