In a film that pays tribute to classics like Plains, Trains, and Automobiles and Tommy Boy, Due Date stars Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in a new buddy comedy that has classic written all over it. When Peter Highman (Downey Jr.) is added to the no flying list after an altercation with Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis), the two hit the road from Georgia to make it to Los Angeles in time for the birth of Peter’s first child.
Ethan is an aspiring actor as well as a ‘medical’ marijuana user, two things that annoy Peter, an architect who has a zero tolerance for stupidity. Joining the two of them is Ethan’s dog Sunny and the ashes of his recently deceased father, another couple annoyances added onto the trip.
Think of this film as The Odd Couple on ecstasy as Ethan starts out the trip by going to a waffle house, only to reveal that he is allergic to waffles. To complicate things even more, Ethan stops off to purchase weed from Heidi (Juliette Lewis), leaving Peter to watch her two kids for awhile.
The trip takes a dangerous turn during Ethan’s turn to drive, as he falls asleep at the wheel, flipping the car off the bridge and destroying the car. Darryl (Jamie Foxx) comes to pick up Peter, as he takes both of them to his house as they relax for awhile before they hit the road again. However, Darryl accidentally gives them coffee made from Ethan’s ashes and brings up Peter’s wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), who happens to be ‘great friends’ with Darryl. Ethan believes that Darryl and Sarah had an affair.
Without ruining the last half of the film, the road trip contains many more hilarious moments as well as physical comedy from both lead actors. The director, Todd Phillips is responsible for The Hangover, and we all know that Galifianakis has great comedic timing, but Downey Jr. hasn’t been in too many comedies of late, and this film shows that even as a straight man for most of the film, he can transition greatly from action to drama to comedy.
There really aren’t too many negatives to this film. There are a few subplots that seem a bit dragged out or rehashed, but except for those minor instances, this film is definitely one to catch during the holiday season.
Final Grade: 9.0/10