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Failure to Launch (2006)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 10 March 2006 (USA)
2:31 | Trailer
A thirty-something is still living with his parents until they hire an interventionist to help him graduate out of the house. That's when the fun begins.


Tom Dey
4,184 ( 573)
5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew McConaughey ... Tripp
Sarah Jessica Parker ... Paula
Zooey Deschanel ... Kit
Justin Bartha ... Ace
Bradley Cooper ... Demo
Terry Bradshaw ... Al
Kathy Bates ... Sue
Tyrel Jackson Williams ... Jeffrey
Katheryn Winnick ... Melissa
Rob Corddry ... Gun Salesman #1
Patton Oswalt ... Techie Guy
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Bud
Kate McGregor-Stewart ... Bev
Adam Alexi-Malle ... Mr. Axelrod
Gretchen Cleevely Gretchen Cleevely ... Gretchen the Veterinarian


At 35, Tripp has an interesting job, a hip car, a passion for sailing, and a great house - trouble is, he lives with his parents. They want him out, so they hire Paula, an "interventionist," who has a formula in these cases: chance encounter, get him to ask her out, involve him in a trauma, meet his friends and get their nod, delay sex, have him teach her something, then launch him. It's worked up to now, but this gets complicated when Tripp thinks she's getting too serious and one of his pals is attracted to Paula's deadpan, semi-alcoholic roommate, who's plagued by a mockingbird. Too many secrets may scrub the launch, and what if Paula really likes him? Who can intervene then? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


To leave the nest, some men just need a little push.


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

10 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Failure to Launch See more »

Filming Locations:

Annapolis, Maryland, USA See more »


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,411,322, 12 March 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The BB gun, that Ace (Justin Bartha) and Kit (Zooey Deschanel) use to shoot the mockingbird, is a Red Rider. See more »


In the closing scene, the sails on the boat are up while the boat remains motionless. See more »


[first lines]
Melissa: I just feel really close to you.
Tripp: You ARE really close to me.
See more »


Referenced in Greek: Legacy (2011) See more »


Devil Woman
Written & Performed by Alan Darby
Courtesy of DeWolfe Music
See more »

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User Reviews

"Failure to Launch" is a very typical date movie which really doesn't add anything new to an already overdone genre.
21 March 2006 | by MovieManMenzelSee all my reviews

A 35 year old guy Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) still lives at home with his parents and never wants to move out on his own. Tripp's parents Al (Terry Bradshaw) and Sue (Kathy Bates) are sick of him living at home and want to see their son grow up and move on with his life. So one day after hearing a success story for their neighbors, Sue and Al decide that they will hire a woman named Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) who will help motivate and help make Tripp want to move out of the house and start his own life. Comedy and romance ensue…

"Failure to Launch" isn't a bad film by any means but it isn't a great film either. This film is a very typical and average romantic comedy. Some of the jokes work and some don't. When watching this film I felt this movie was almost the exact same thing as "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" which I think was a pretty creative and very funny romantic comedy. The problem with "Failure" is that its pretty much the same film. I literally felt like I was watching the sequel called "How to Get A Guy to Move Out of His Parents Place in 10 Days".

The only thing that made this film seem remotely different from "How to Lose A Guy" was Zooey Deschannel's character Kit who as many stated stole the show. I felt the Kit character introduced a character that wasn't seen in most typical romantic comedies. This depressing and sarcastic roommate who wanted to kill the mocking bird that sat outside her window. The character Kit was a very interesting one and brought some unique humor to the film. This character also stole every scene she was in and my favorite scene of the film was where Kit tries to buy a gun.

The main problem with the jokes in the film was the fact that they were so predictable and were over used. The whole animals biting people joke was used 4 times in the film. I felt like the joke barely worked the first time and just seemed to silly for this type of film. Not to mention, the naked butt scene which I felt was just too childish for this film. The jokes along with the storyline was very predictable and anyone who has seen at least one or two romantic comedies could tell you where the film was heading and what was going to happen next.

Matthew McCanaughey pretty much plays the same role in every romantic comedy. He is the pretty boy who works out all the time and loves the ladies. He does a decent job here but this role isn't a stretch for him since the same character he played in the last few movies he starred in. Sarah Jessica Parker does a decent job as Paula although I have a hard time imagining anyone falling in love with Sarah Jessica Parker because I don't find her attractive at all. I would have rather seen Kate Hudson play this role or hell maybe even someone like Anna Faris or Scarlett Johansson. Zooey Deschannel, who I absolutely love, is the best character in the film. Her weird sense of humor and fetishes save this movie from being overly typical. She is a great actress I just hope she does more independent films than mainstream films like this one. And finally Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates do a decent job in this film. But as we all know Bates is capable of doing much better material.

Tom Dey is the man responsible for directing "Failure to Launch". Dey is also responsible for directing "Shanghai Noon" which was a decent action comedy and the horrible "Showtime" with Eddie Murphy and Robert DeNiro. I can't really say that his directing technique is that great and as a director he seems like he makes very mediocre films. There isn't much about "Failure" that is fresh and original nor is there any type of film or camera work that is unique or well shot.

In the end, "Failure to Launch" is more of the same. It's your typical romantic comedy which has some laughs and the same old Hollywood ending. I think if the script was a little more creative than it would have been a great romantic comedy instead of being just like almost every other romantic comedies that I have seen throughout the years. If you're a big fan of romantic comedies you should see this film in the theater because you will probably really like it. If your not I would wait for DVD. I didn't hate this film like I thought I was based on the reviews for it but I just found it very typical. If the movie focused more on the supporting characters than the main ones I feel this film would have been more of a success but hey I'm not the director so I didn't have a say in the matter.

MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Failure to Launch" is a 6/10. A "How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days" rip-off with similar but not as fun characters.

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