I went to see “Due Date” this past Friday. Unlike most of my other recent movie outings, this time I did not go with my knuckleheads, instead I went with my friend which made it a special treat all of its own. “Due Date” is a road trip comedy starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. Peter Highman (Downey) is a businessman on his way home to his expectant wife, eagerly anticipating his first child’s arrival only 5 days away via a planned C-section. While at the airport to catch his flight, a chance encounter with Ethan Tremblay/Chase (Galifianakis), a wannabe actor making his way to Hollywood, quickly throws all of Peter’s plans into chaos. A comedy of errors quickly ensues and Peter finds himself without his luggage, wallet, or ID and on a no-fly list, forced to share a rental car with Ethan and his pet pooch, Sonny, as they embark on a mad-dash from Atlanta to LA to make the birth of his child. The typical high jinks you’ve come to expect from Galifianakis’ movies of course follows, including pot smoking, car crashes, illegal border crossings, and much, much more.
While the humor was infantile at times, I can’t deny that I laughed throughout the movie. My only complaint is that the movie didn’t have a lot of heart. There were only one or two scenes where Galifianakis showed his acting chops and performed with real emotion. Downey was reduced to playing straight man to Galifianakis’ wacky character. I won’t say skip it, because I did enjoy myself, but I’ll add that if you want to see a great comedy road trip movie with tons of laughs and emotional resonance, rent “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” with John Candy and Steve Martin. That movie can make you cry laughing, and then just plain cry.