Journeyman Court Drama
Mac is a pretty good metaphor for the film itself. He’s a guy who seems appealingly familiar and is not particularly out to impress anyone; yet he takes his job seriously even if he’s not the best lawyer on the circuit. His crew is made up people he knows he can trust, but are not people for whom casework is a steady gig. He’ll put in the work necessary to get the job done—and will likely miss details that hotshot professionals, like prosecutor Joe Whetstone, wouldn’t let by. And when the case is over, he’s smart enough to know that there are bigger trials in life than torts, crimes, litigation, and prosecution.
Automobiles, Automobiles & Automobiles
All year long critics and audiences have been waiting for “the next The Hangover,” the consensus funniest movie of 2009. So far, despite a few decent efforts, nothing has come close to earning the title. Now comes Due Date, the most obvious candidate given that it is directed by The Hangover director Todd Phillips and features the film’s breakout star Zack Galifianakis. It doesn’t hurt matters that it also stars Robert Downey, Jr., arguably the biggest star in Hollywood at the moment. But is that enough?
Well, Comic Romance, Anyway
Other than the fact that I kept wanting to scream, “Why can’t you people just talk to each other?!?!?” I found myself smiling almost all the way through the film. I’m fairly certain that first- (and only-) time feature-film director Kate Montgomery modeled her film on the gentle Scottish comedy Local Hero (one of the supporting female characters seems almost lifted directly from Bill Forsythe’s film), and it’s a good move. But what could possibly be so bad about making an award-winning indie film? What makes people want to quit the business? Without answering those questions, I’ll just ask another: Was it, perhaps, that this just ended up feeling like a dream project, a stroke of lightning unlikely to repeat itself?