Archives for posts with tag: road movies

“A Merry Friggin’ Christmas” (2014) was one of Robin Williams’ last movies. I know you might feel guilty about not liking it, but that’s OK, because this movie isn’t that good. (I can imagine the conversation that went on in some Hollywood development meeting: “Picture ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ meets ‘Christmas Vacation.’ It’s pure gold, I tell ya!”) So anyway, the guy from “Community” stars as the prodigal son of a dysfunctional family, of which Williams is the foul-mouthed, boozy patriarch. Cliched Christmas hijinks ensue. Road movie hijinks ensue. Sloppy plot construction and awkwardly staged family melodrama ensue. Sorry, Robin.

“Identity Thief” (2013) is a “road movie.” For the umpteenth time, let me explain. Through some ridiculously implausible plot device, amismatchedpairhastotravelalongdistancetogetherandtheygetoneachothersnervesandhijinksensueandtheylearnsomethingaboutthemselvesalongtheway (it only counts as one word like this, and that’s all it deserves). A little Melissa McCarthy goes a long way. Orlando to Denver is too long. Meanwhile, Jason Bateman is trying to corner the market on uptight movie honkeys. At this point, I can’t tell whether he’s playing a new character or doing a sequel to “Horrible Bosses.” Unless you’re a big McCarthy fan (Ha! Get it?) you can pass on this one. I probably should have, too.

Take a good, long look at the big, steaming pile of movies in which a mismatched pair has to travel a long distance in pursuit of different goals, hijinks ensue, and they learn something about themselves along the way. Then take “Due Date” (2010) and toss it on that pile. Zach Galifianakis is better in smaller doses. Robert Downey Jr. can’t carry the movie by himself. It has some funny sidetrips but it hits all the cliche plotholes that make “road” movies interchangeable and unmemorable. Preposterous vehicle wrecks. Inexplicable epiphanies. Injured people who keep falling/crashing but don’t get hurt worse.