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'Launch' is a failure, all right

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"Failure to Launch" is the latest in a lineup of comedies about men as big babies. The pedigree includes "Meet the Parents" and "Meet the Fockers," "Hitch," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Wedding Crashers." This new entry in the sweepstakes is easily the lamest. The title of the movie could also serve as its review.

Matthew McConaughey plays Tripp, a 35-year-old goodtime guy who sells yachts and hangs out with two male friends who all have one thing in common: They live at home with their parents. Since all the men are presentable and more or less employed, the big question is: Why?

In Tripp's case, for a long time we are led to believe that he just likes the comforts of home - i.e., having his mother (Kathy Bates) pick up after him and cook his meals. When he brings women inside, they are aghast at his living arrangements, which is exactly how he wants it. He takes them home when he's ready to dump them.

Tripp is not presented as a cad, though. He's just, well, a big baby, albeit a baby encased in the physiognomy of People's latest "Sexiest Man Alive." The plot twist comes when his loving but exasperated parents, in a last-ditch attempt to get their boy out of the house, hire a professional "consultant" to lure him away. Sarah Jessica Parker's Paula makes a career out of pretending to be a doting dreamgirl to all the male layabouts still living with their parents. Talk about thankless jobs.

You don't have to be Aristotle to figure out where this story is going: Tripp will fall for Paula, who will fall for Tripp, who will find out about Paula and break things off, followed by the inevitable reconciliation.


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