Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man) is about to become a father. Due Date opens with Peter en route to Los Angeles after a business trip in Atlanta just days before his first child is due to arrive via cesarian section. His whole plan to make it home in time for his wife’s labor is placed in jeopardy when he bumps into the weirdest character he has ever met, Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis, The Hangover). Because of an “incident” on the plane before take-off, both Ethan and Peter are kicked off the flight and placed on the “no-fly list.” To top it all off, because Peter’s wallet and cash were in his luggage, he is forced into a road trip to L.A. with Ethan. If they don’t stick to their highway itinerary, Peter will not make it home in time for the due date.
Due Date starts off as a hilarious movie that earns its laughs from inappropriate comedy and unique characterization, but halfway through it transitions to one that loses its laughs as it tries too hard be funny through unbelievable situations. The most annoying part about the transition is that Peter and Ethan act as if there are not any consequences for their actions – especially once they have a run-in with Mexican customs agents.
The characters are truly the only things that remain consistent in their comedy the whole way through. Although Galifianakis plays the only character that he knows how to play, he is still funny. Downey Jr. is the one that truly earns the majority of the laughs here. Peter is this guy with anger management problems who “sees red” more often than not. Nothing is sacred to him. He will make fun of handicaps and slug unruly kids. Peter is the center of his own universe, and watching him act accordingly is hands down the best part about Due Date.
Although Due Date is sure to entertain anyone who enjoys R-rated comedies, it falls into the category of “soon-to-be-forgotten comedies.” Sure, you will laugh throughout the whole movie. But it will completely leave your mind the next day.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.