For some reason, desperation seems to make people do really stupid things, often resulting in the most hilarious reactions from others. Todd Phillips first tapped into this when he directed the hugely successful The Hangover. Basically it’s about a group of guys away from the safety of their home, where there is little margin for error that won’t end in disaster. Add in the extra dynamic of Zach Galifianakis playing a socially inept buffoon, along with a race against the clock, and everything’s constantly on the verge of going tits up. ‘It’s about flying without a safety net’, says Phillips when asked about the comedic appeal of these fragile situations. It will come as no surprise then that Due Date is basically just a repeat of the same formula, but, according to the film’s star Robert Downey Jr., the originality comes from pushing the limits of taste and breaking the boundaries that keep comedy in check.
The storyline goes more or less like this: Robert Downey Jr. plays father-to-be Peter, who is unfortunate enough to encounter Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) at an airport, resulting in an incident which lands both of them on the dreaded ‘no-fly list’. Having left this wallet, and therefore his driving license, on the plane, Peter is left with no choice but to accept a lift from Ethan as he races to get back across the country in time for the birth of his child. Nothing ground-breaking there, but as Robert Downey Jr. says, ‘it’s all about trumping The Hangover in terms of taking the jokes that step further and just being generally more outrageous’. That means masturbating dogs, a dead man’s ashes being mistaken for powdered coffee, and a punch-up with a handicapped war veteran. Depending on whether or not you liked The Hangover, you’ll probably either love or hate this movie, as Phillips and Galifianakis pretty much just pick up where they left off with the 2009 hit.