Phillips turns old tricks
Issue date: 11/12/10 Section: Arts & Entertainment
"Due Date" tells the story of Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.), an angry architect trying to get from Atlanta to Los Angeles to witness the birth of his first child. Due to a misunderstanding on the plane, largely facilitated by Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), Highman is forced to hitch a ride cross-country with the aspiring actor who is headed back home to Hollywood after visiting Atlanta in relation to his father's death. This flick followed the usual conventions set by the buddy road movies that came before it, like "Tommy Boy," "Black Sheep" and "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles." In that sense, it was rather nostalgic, because very few movies take that route and do it so well these days. But if anyone was to bring the trend back, it was definitely going to be the guy who did "Road Trip."
In terms of performances, Downey Jr. and Galifianakis were pretty funny; some moments left the theater literally laughing out loud. There was one moment for me that stood out in particular, but since I don't want to give anything away, I'll just say that it involves Downey Jr. and a bratty little kid. And, to go along with the nostalgic factor I touched upon earlier, Galifianakis showed shades of another rather rotund comic: the late, great Chris Farley. However, instead of Farley's extremely physical style of comedy, Galifianakis utilized excellent delivery of dialogue and subtle body language to bring forth his comedy. We've been lacking funny fat guys lately, so this is a nice throwback. Nothing like big laughs from big fellows!