Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000 to 2009.
The lowlifes in 2006’s Failure to Launch were perfect for each other. Had they never met on Earth, they might have someday crossed paths in hell.
Matthew McConaughey is Trip, a bronzed, buffed womanizing jerk. He’s a commit-o-phobe boat broker without a boat (as unlikely as a car salesman riding a Schwinn to work) who, at age 35, still lives with his parents.
Sarah Jessica Parker is Paula, a “professional interventionist” who faux-seduces aging guys who’ve never moved out as a lure into the larger world. Once they’re gone, she dumps them and collects her fee from the parents.
Because, hey, what screams self-confidence and independence to a lifelong basement dweller more than the swift rejection of a beautiful woman? Oh, and Paula’s strict no-sex policy goes out the window at a crucial moment for Trip, so toss glossed-up prostitution in there, too.
Paula makes Hitch look like a patron saint, and Launch is Hitch without inspiration or a soul. Instead, Failure drives a stake into anything resembling a heart.
A mountain-biking scene looks like an ad for a drug Trip might use to combat something he’d pick up from a conquest. A precocious kid pointlessly shouts “lesbian” and “bastard” for laughs. Worst of all, we’re offered no fewer than three shots of Terry Bradshaw’s sagging butt and gut while he lounges naked listening to Dr. Dre.
With a rewrite, or 38, this might’ve worked with Zooey Deschanel and Patton Oswalt — thanklessly supporting this classless comedy — as the leads.