Stop worrying, love the launch

Published 5:51 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Since my return to Chapel Hill over Christmas break, while waiting for classes to start, I’ve settled into a holding pattern that is not a particularly “healthy” one.

This pattern consists of: hanging out until irresponsibly late with maybe three people, then eating some variety of disreputable late-night Chapel Hill food, then waking up the next day in the mid-afternoon, then alternating naps with watching the E! Network until I call my friends to see what they are doing, and then doing it all over again.

Still, the definite highlight of my time back here has been the hours of terrible, terrible television I watched, including ONE WHOLE HOUR of Sex And The City, the movie Honey, and most importantly for the purposes of this column, the movie Failure To Launch.

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If you have ever been subjected to more than about 15 minutes of “movie talk” with me, I probably bring up the fact that I saw a total of like six movies in 2010, and that one was my favorite.

Failure To Launch is basically about how Matthew McConaughey won’t move out of his parents’ house, and so they hire Sarah Jessica Parker to become his girlfriend so he’ll have the self-esteem to leave his parents alone.

Zooey Deschanel plays Sarah’s alcoholic roommate and ends up with one of Matthew McConaughey’s best friends, because of course she does. You can already guess how it ends, and if you can’t you should by now.

Failure to Launch is also great because of the degree to which its characters act in a manner that is zero percent grounded in reality. If you gave Sarah Jessica Parker even one weird-looking device that whirred or lit up or something, you’d have yourself a science fiction movie.

There is no way that Bradley Cooper’s character is not supposed to be an alien. Everything he says is completely and totally nonsensical. Also, his name is “Demo.”

Here are a couple choice lines from Demo, courtesy of IMDB (a website dedicated to information on movies)

Deception’s a poison. Like margarine.

Whoa whoa … I’m a rambling man, I’m a tumbleweed, I’m a seeker of truth.

You were bitten by a chuckwalla. That shouldn’t have happened. It’s a reptile of peace. I have a theory. This isn’t the first time that nature’s lashed out at you like this. I believe it’s because your life is fundamentally at odds with the natural world.

I would have added more “memorable quotes,” but IMDB decided to devote the rest of its bandwidth to message board pages debating whether or not the knot in The Dude’s robe switching from a square knot to a granny knot constitutes a full-blown continuity error or merely a “goof.”

I first saw the film last summer around midnight while in London, on the BBC3 network in my flat’s kitchen TV; I was feeling homesick and missing America, because I hadn’t seen it or any of my friends for about five and a half weeks. FTL presented to me an idealized version of my homeland, one where pretty people get together and are happy on boats and only worry about the possibility of seeing Terry Bradshaw’s butt. Also, terrifyingly enough, Terry Bradshaw’s butt is in this movie.

So, yeah, FTL is not exactly the world’s best film, but it’s still my favorite and will probably always hold a very special place in my heart no matter how objectively bad it is. The end. I’m gonna go call my friends and watch more E!