Review: Due Date

TWO MEN AND A LITTLE PUPPY Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis cross the country the hard way in Due...

There are those who can take the trippy, oblivious, big-bearded, man-baby humor of Zach Galifianakis only in small doses — an SNLsketch here, an online episode of Between Two Ferns there. Longer exposure leads to itchy discomfort. To them I say, don't see Due Date. Because there's a whole lot of cringe-inducing Galifianakis going on in this shaggy buddy caper, the latest cavalcade of male mayhem from director Todd Phillips, reunited with the production team that whipped up the record-breaking 2009 hit comedy The Hangover. (You remember Galifianakis in that shaggy buddy caper? He was the big-bearded man-baby wearing a smaller, smooth-cheeked actual baby strapped to his expansive chest.)

Me, I find the comedy of aggressive self-involvement liberating, at least when done by a skilled practitioner. And the hordes who have happily spent a quarter century in the home of Homer Simpson — not to mention fans eager for the return of the peerless aggravation of Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm — suggest there are plenty of others who savor the pained hilarity of bad behavior. To them I say, go see Due Date. But be prepared, on this particular gas-guzzling road trip, for potholes and speed bumps of superficial Caring Guy sentiment that derail the movie over the long-distance comic haul.

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