DUE DATE, 2010
High-strung father-to-be Peter Highman is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay on a road trip in order to make it to his child's birth on time
Release Date: 5 November 2010
Donít let anybod y fool you, DUE DATE is the sequel to PLANES, TRAINS and AUTOMOBILES. Itís basically the same movie except that there are two different actors playing the lead roles and we now have cell phones to call our loved ones instead of having to stand in line and wait for a pay phone to call them. Something people used to do way back when.
For anyone who was born after 1985, Planes Trains and Automobiles was a classic road movie starring the late John Candy and Steven Martin.
John Candy played the sloppy, overweight, lonely guy who is learning to deal with the recent loss of his wife. In the sequel DUE DATE, Zach Galifianakis plays a sloppy, overweight, lonely guy who is learning to deal with the loss of his father. The added bonus from the original film is that the fat guy now has a dog. Something that comes in handy whenever the filmmakers need a quick laugh. The old cutaway to the dog doing something strange shot that always gets a lot of chuckles.
Steve Martin played the uptight, white color businessman who is trying to be a better person because he is trying to be a good role model to his wife and two young children (perhaps a road trip will help him as itís helped many people in past movies). In the sequel DUE DATE, Robert Downey Jr. plays an uptight, white color businessman who is trying to be a better person because he is about to be a father. The added bonus is that the uptight guy is really scared to be a father because his old-man left him when he was just a boy. More dramatic conflict!
So the whole father angle pulls these two guys together like the whole I love my wife angle did in the original movie.
Another added storytelling bonus from the original film is that the stakes are bigger because Downey Jr. needs to get back home quickly because his wife is going in labor. In Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Steve Martin just needs to get home for thanksgiving dinner. Kind of pales in comparison, doesnít it? So what if you miss a thanksgiving dinner. Thereís always leftovers!
In the original film the road trip was from New York City to Chicago with plenty of cities in between. In Due Date, the road trip is from Atlanta to Los Angeles. So one film does the northern states trip as the other does the southern states trip. There are more cliches in the southern states so that generally means more opportunities for comedy.
In the original film, a car accident pulls the two characters a part. The same thing happens in DUE DATE.
In the original film, an episode of hard drinking bonds the two characters. In DUE DATE, an episode of pot smoking bonds the two characters.
In the original film, the two guys have a strange occurrence that involves the penis when they are sleeping. Some thing happens in DUE DATE.
In the original film, the uptight guy goes off on a rental car clerk which leads him to getting beat up badly. In DUE DATE, the uptight guy goes off on a money transfer clerk which leads him to getting beat up badly.
In the original film, the uptight guy goes off on the fat guy and then feels guilty about it afterwards. Same thing happens in DUE DATE.
All in all, both are funny films that are performed perfectly by all four leads. And I like both films a lot. But they are practically the same film and if I were John Hughes estate (the original writer and director of Plains, Trains...), Iíd demand some kind of credit or back pay.
Doesnít this need to stop? Perhaps not because I talk to a lot of people who say that the best part of going to the movies is the trailer promotions beforehand. So perhaps Iím in the minority here.
Heís basically playing the same role every single time, but he always has a different spin on it. In Bored to Death heís less funny and more introspective than the roles he played in Due Date and The Hangover. He really doing a dramatic turn on the TV show while he tackles the more goofy and funnier side of himself in the feature film world.
This guy isnít going away. And I donít think heís going to do something stupid and die like John Candy did before he hit his peak.