Every comedy-romance seems to have a cliché about love in its story. The case is not different in the 2006 Tom Dey’s movie Failure to Launch. However, what most viewers do not realize is that most of the times there is a negative message behind the funny love story. In this movie, Sarah Jessica Parker plays the role of Paula; a woman that works to help parents who want their son to move out of their house, in this case the son is Tripp, played by Matthew McConaughey.
Paula works by pretending she has the same interests as her clients so they fall in love with her. Once her goal is accomplished she dumps them. Her strategy seems to work very well and Paula always gets the immature grown-ups to move out of their mom’s house. But as Paula did not expect, in Tripp’s case things did not go as well as she had planned. Paula ends up falling in love with Tripp, but she did not have the opportunity of telling him before he found out. Even though everything goes well at the end and they end up together. The cliché that stands out is “You only hurt the one you love”, this sentence is used several times when people find themselves in a situation where their actions hurt someone that they did not mean to. That is exactly what happened to Paula in this story, she did not want to fall in love with a client and it was mostly likely that would not happen because Tripp was the type of guy who jumped out of relationship when it was getting too serious. But surprisingly enough he started to have strong feelings for her, but when that finally happened he found out he was being played.
Overall, the movie is a good romantic comedy but there is a hidden negative message. Obviously Paula and Tripp’s parents lied to him to get him to move out. The problem is that once Paula found out that her feelings were getting in the way of her job and that she was falling for him, she did not tell him the truth and kept lying. The negative message did not come just from Paula; it started with Tripp’s parents because they were the ones who hired her. As mentioned in class, messages are not always easy to see but it can unconsciously affect the viewer. In this case it can make people think that it is okay to lie to try to get what they want. But this is not message that should in a movie because in this situation the right action to take would be to confront Tripp and talk to him trying to solve the problem.
Out of the 3 elements of persuasion, pathos is the used the most. Even though the movie’s love story is very predictable, it still attracts viewers and it is adventurous enough to engage them in the story. The movie’s target seems to be young adults as it contains a strong language, sexual scenes and several drinking scenes. It was released as PG13 and it makes sense because I do not think that teens would be very interested in the movie since it tells the story of an immature 35- year-old man.
The movie was decently successful however, I do not give a high rate because it was very predictable and the cliché has already been used in several other movies.