Failure To Launch

Subscribe to Matthew Mcconaughey

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th March 2006

Box Office USA: $88.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $88.7M

Budget: $50M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 24%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 113

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew



Starring: Matthew McConaughey as Tripp, Sarah Jessica Parker as Paula, Zooey Deschanel as Kit, Justin Bartha as Ace, Bradley Cooper as Demo, Terry Bradshaw as Al, Kathy Bates as Sue, Tyrel Jackson Williams as Jeffrey, Katheryn Winnick as Melissa, Patton Oswalt as Techie Guy, Rob Corddry as Gun Salesman

Failure To Launch Movie Review

Sometimes the title of a film can be quite telling. Before you even step foot in the theater you know what to expect. Failure to Launch is one of those films, and as the title indicates, that's not a good thing.

Tripp (Matthew Mcconaughey) suffers from a "failure to launch." No, not that kind. He's 35 years old (going on 16) and still lives at home. With parents Al and Sue (TERRY BRADSHAW and Kathy Bates) willingly catering to his every whim, Tripp has no incentive to launch his life. They cook for him, clean his room, and wash his clothes. Tripp lives rent-free, drives a shiny new Porsche, and has a great job where he captains sailboats. It sounds pretty rough.

The one thing Tripp doesn't have is romance. But before you feel sorry for him (though I'm not sure how you could), Tripp's lack of love is entirely his choice. When his girlfriends get too close, Tripp takes them home to meet the parents. Understandably, the fact that he still lives with them scares most women away. Still, his parents think that once he meets the right girl, he'll finally leave the nest. Al and Sue decide to hire Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), a woman who guarantees that once Tripp falls for her, he'll be out looking for a place of his own.

Paula's deceitful plan is scripted into numerous sequential steps. First, Al and Sue must make things more difficult at home -- no more cleaning, laundry, or dinner. Next, Tripp must help Paula through a fake emotional crisis -- her dog dies. Third, she meets his fellow parents'-house-living friends Ace and Demo (Justin Bartha and Bradley Cooper) - they play paintball together. Lastly, Tripp needs to teach Paula something -- they go sailing. Just as everything seems to be falling into place, disaster strikes.

Yet, Launch's carnage begins long before Paula's strategy goes south. In fact, much of the film's problems stem from a host of central character flaws that drastically undermine the story. The first issue: casting. McConaughey is completely miscast in the title role. Not for one second is he believable as a needy homebody who is totally dependant on his parents. The problem is that McConaughey has always played the sexy, independent every-man capable of getting anything he wants. It's kind of like Jim Carrey trying to play a dead serious role; it just doesn't work.

The anemic script never takes the time to develop the other characters either. Zooey Deschanel is underutilized as Paula's dysfunctional roommate Kit. She spends over half the film floating in and out of scenes where she clearly doesn't belong. Deschanel is fixed up in an absurd subplot about a squawking mockingbird solely to justify her existence until she is actually needed much later in the film. Even once she's used, she gets relegated to another useless storyline. While Parker is believable as Paula, her character is severely flawed as well. The film's major turning point stems from a critical mistake she makes that someone with her job experience just wouldn't do.

The only characters we're actually able to connect with are Al and Sue. And that's only because the ultra thin script can support their limited roles.

In the end, after all of the melodrama is painfully resolved and we've endured a visit to a naked Bradshaw's room, the film's central theme still goes unanswered: Does Tripp ever move out of his parent's house? By that time, we could really care less. It's the film's final failure to launch. Abort! Abort!

Try to catch this without using your hands.


Subscribe to Matthew Mcconaughey


cab4675's picture


I disagree with you review of Failure to Launch. I appear to be right as it is holding its own very well. Most men don't know what women want in the way of a movie. I've lived 70 years and women rule when it come to chic flixs.

8 years 9 months ago
View Comments

superfan's picture


how could the movie critics even discribe this as a "date movie"?? my ex saw it alone when it first came out (without any "female accompaniment") glad i got to see it on pay cable. now i understand why ( my ex never moved out of his parents house) except one year he was shacking up with a woman (who broke up our "perfect marriage") hard to belive.

6 years 6 months ago
View Comments

jake's picture


How can i trust your review when you can't even recongize a 30 year porsche... (Shiney New Porsche ha ha ha) The car is at least a 1968 model....

8 years 8 months ago
View Comments

Failure To Launch Rating

" Unbearable "


More Matthew Mcconaughey

Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy Album Review

The solo career of Mr Rice is not one you may realistically describe as that with which you may associate a prolific output. His is...

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of Trailer

From the year 1999 until 2002, The Backstreet Boys were the most powerful boy band in the world. After discovering that they had not been...

George The Poet - 1,2,1,2 (Dismantle Remix) Video

George The Poet unveils an audio for the Dismantle Remix of his single '1,2,1,2', taken from the tracks Remixes EP. The track has been produced...

Perfume Genius - Too Bright Album Review

Ever since the release of his debut LP 'Learning' back in 2010, Seattle's Perfume Genius has attracted increasing attention both publicly and critically. His piano...


The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School - O Come All Ye Faithful Video

The angelic voices of The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School perform a moving rendition of classic Christmas carol 'O Come All Ye Faithful'.

Jamie Scott - Last Christmas Video

Jamie Scott of London duo GRAFFITI6 performs an acoustic rendition of Wham!'s 1984 festive single 'Last Christmas' in a black and white one-take video. In...

Christina Aguilera Ft. Brian McKnight - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Video

In 2000, Christina Aguilera recorded a collection of some of her favourite Christmas songs and the sessions resulted in the album 'My Kind of Christmas',...

Sam Smith - Like I Can Video

Sam Smith has launched the new video for his single 'Like I Can', released off of his number one debut album 'In The Lonely Hour'....