The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Due Date (2/22/2011)

Rating R for language, drug use and sexual content.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis and Jamie Foxx

Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Starsky & Hutch, Old School)

Todd's Rating: Rental

It's a bumpy ride, but Due Date is a road trip (movie) worth taking.

Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is an expectant first-time father whose wife's due date is a mere five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan - on what turns out to be a cross-country road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, numerous friendships and Peter's last nerve.

O.K. I’ll admit I have a bit of a man-crush on Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. But seriously…can you blame me? With movies like Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, Downey once again finds himself near the top of the Hollywood A-list and everything Zach Galifianakis does just cracks me up. And when I first heard about this movie I was pumped up…but when I first saw the trailer I laughed so hard I almost blacked out. So needless the say…the cast was awesome.

And you need a great cast in a movie like this, not just because the story is very familiar…remember Planes, Trains & Automobiles? One uptight businessman must travel cross-country with talkative loner/loser to make it home by a certain day. Yep that’s the story of both movies…and both are hilarious.

Like other films, it’s the pair’s shenanigans that provide the most laughs like fighting someone in a wheelchair or spitting on a dog, but there are a few touching moments as well.

There are two big negatives with this one: the language and one scene where Ethan masturbates in a car. If they toned down some of the language and cut that scene, this is a “Worthy Buying” movie…but since they decided to keep them I can only go as high as “Rental.”

Like I said, the language is over the top and Ethan masturbates in a car while Peter is trying to sleep.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message/theme of this movie?

A: This road trip/buddy film asks the basic questions: What is a friend? And who is my friend? You have probably heard the old saying, "A friend in need is a friend indeed?" I've also heard it modified to "A friend in need is a pain in the neck!" The funny thing is that in Due Date the theme is more like "A friend in need may find an unwanted “friend” who just seems to make everything worse."

As I watched the movie I kept asking myself, “What, really, is a friend? What does real friendship look like?”

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
A: Paul tells us in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

In the movie it’s Peter that needs the help; he’s the one that needs a friend. But he is also the one who is selfish. He is quickly annoyed by Ethan’s quirkiness and random questions. Several times he says to other people, “Do you see what I’m dealing with here?” He yells at Ethan more than once, threatens him with physical harm and even spits on his dog. And Ethan continues to help him…because he desperately wants a friend.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?
A: The question we must ask ourselves is this, “Are there people in and around my life that are desperately looking for a friend?” My guess is their faces and names are flashing through your mind right now. What would happen if you stopped looking at your own interests and started looking at theirs?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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