Failure to Launch Reviews

Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 18, 2006
The movie's notion of humor is exemplified by Bradshaw's extended nude scene.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 7, 2006
As listless and phony as Failure to Launch may be, it does have one secret weapon in Zooey Deschanel.
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Anna Smith
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Add to this a confused moral message and it's clear that, as its title inadvertently suggests, this romantic comedy never gets off the ground.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 18, 2006
How, exactly, did an idea with this much star power and comic potential manage to misfire?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 16, 2006
It's completely unbelievable.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 11, 2006
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 10, 2006
This is a showcase for her [Parker's] sensitive intelligence, her watchfulness, and her way of thinking and reacting. The Family Stone did nothing for Parker, but Failure to Launch makes a strong case for life after Sex and the City.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 10, 2006
Failure to Launch is yet another disposable romantic comedy made with little thought or skill.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 10, 2006
Apart from its name (easily the front-runner for worst of the year), Failure to Launch represents a failure in every way: of ideas, of inspiration, of casting.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 10, 2006
We have liftoff! And that's exactly what we want from a romantic comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
March 10, 2006
This is a guy comedy being mismarketed as a chick flick, complete with a poster that looks like a page from Lucky magazine.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
March 10, 2006
The plot synopsis sounds less like sitcom than sick-com: A womanizer has the tables turned on him when he falls in love with, essentially, a prostitute whose services are being paid for by parents who don't have the decency to ask him to leave.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 10, 2006
Director Tom Dey throws in so much energetic slapstick that the film feels lively and fresher than it probably should, especially during several scenes involving animal-induced mayhem.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
March 10, 2006
The comical part -- the part with the assaulting fauna -- is eccentric, knockabout fun, spattered with outlandish setups and amicably offbeat supporting players who reach out and steal the show.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 10, 2006
If you're in search of a film with any real emotion or believable story, forget it. If you're OK with a flick that has some funny bits and a kooky couple playing second banana -- hey, launch on.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
March 10, 2006
Parker does occasionally make us forget that Failure to Launch is so bereft of comic ideas that it ultimately stoops to giving Terry Bradshaw a nude scene to milk a laugh.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 10, 2006
The only thing I rooted for in Failure To Launch was for Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker -- the two leads -- to find better movies.
| Original Score: C
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 10, 2006
Like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Wedding Crashers, Failure to Launch reminds us that Hollywood is set on making romantic-comedy counterparts to the chick flick.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
March 10, 2006
Under Tom Dey's direction, a perverse form of symmetry is at work here, and the stereotypes seem like old acquaintances you can enjoy for a couple of hours.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 10, 2006
Cursed with an honest title, Failure to Launch waves a white flag in scene after scene, declaring surrender.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
March 10, 2006
There are elements of Failure to Launch that elevate it, albeit sporadically, above the typical romantic comedy that it is.
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 10, 2006
The movie is surprisingly nimble and emotionally honest.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kathy Cano Murillo
Arizona Republic
March 10, 2006
The film goes a layer deeper than most formulaic chick flicks. It dabbles in the sociological aspects of why many present-day adults refuse to leave the nest, as well as the effect on aging parents.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 9, 2006
This would-be romantic comedy is neither. The premise is misbegotten, the chemistry non-existent and the dialogue leaden.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
March 9, 2006
The movie casts around wildly for comic set-pieces, coming up with things like aggressive chipmunks, hostile dolphins and a dad who longs to be naked at all times.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
March 9, 2006
Every character has been given enough quirk to make the movie sublimely enjoyable but not so much that it becomes precious.
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
March 9, 2006
Set light years away from the real world, this tart, amusing piece of screwball fluff stars Matthew McConaughey as a 35-year-old who still lives with his parents.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
March 9, 2006
Tripp is such a stud that he has to beat women off with a stick. Or, rather, with his parents -- This isn't just idiotic, it's indefensible. It's also the picture's premise.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 9, 2006
Oh, what stupid people these are.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 9, 2006
The title of the movie could also serve as its review.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 9, 2006
As with most romantic comedies, Failure to Launch takes off thanks to its upbeat tone and the charisma of its stars.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 9, 2006
Failure to Launch isn't about story. It's about star power. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
March 9, 2006
The stars execute their silly romantic-comedy dance steps as if to the manner born, but it is the funny shuffle-and-halt tango between Bartha's computer nerd and Deschanel's man-proof misanthrope that add some real zest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
March 9, 2006
Even by the low standards of high-concept Hollywood rom-coms, this charmless, prophetically titled stinker stands apart, suggesting that the recent mass firings at studio Paramount may not have been such a bad idea after all.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 9, 2006
It fails at romance and comedy. It fails to make the lead characters interesting and their love affair believable. And it fails to develop a consistent tone that would enable viewers to suspend their disbelief.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 8, 2006
Failure to Launch arrives pre-told by design. But even those coming in cold will know what's going to happen one step ahead.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
March 8, 2006
Launch writes itself into such a corner that the only way it can manage a happy ending is to lock its leads in a room and force them to have a meaningful conversation.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
March 7, 2006
Beneath the sitcom sheen, there's a darker movie about broken people who use convenient, pitiful excuses to keep from growing up. You laugh at them, but you also have sympathy.
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Brian Lowry
Variety
March 6, 2006
Failure to Launch is an especially slight romantic comedy whose modest charms are derived largely from its supporting players.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
March 3, 2006
Stars Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker put as much energy, winning smiles and comic business into their roles as possible, but it's a no-go from the start.