Venturing To A Dream Palace For Due Date

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Due Date Dram Palace Poster

We screenwriters have a very unique classroom where to further our craft. Where’s that you ask? Well, it’s a movie theater, a cinema, and a dream palace.

Movie patrons and screenwriters have two different experiences when they visit the cinema. The movie goer fortifies themselves with popcorn, sodas and candy and settle in their seat waiting to be entertained and to watch a story unfold.

Scribes play a more proactive role in watching that same movie. From the opening scene to the introduction of the main characters to the moment we spot the “Save the Cat” moment (see my past post, Have A Blake Snyder Save The Cat Screenplay of Your Dreams) all the way to the climax of the movie.

We look to see if the movie has solid structure, if there is character development and if the film flows evenly. Can we relate to the characters and “get” the message the movie is trying to convey. Lastly, we stay behind and pour over the credits as they roll down the silver screen. If the movie is great, we take note of the screenwriter, casting director, producer and director and check them out at: to see what other projects they’ve worked on.

How many people can say their classroom is also their favorite playground?

Here is my review of:


Written by: Alan R. Cohen
Alan Freedland
Adam Sztykiel
Todd Phillips
Directed by: Todd Philips

This comedic road trip involving two complete strangers is fraught with missteps and miscues (mostly initiated by Ethan) and is a much darker more violent version of the classic “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”

Robert Downey Jr. plays Peter Highman (clever name) an uptight jerk of an architect who is flying home to Los Angeles to be with his wife (Michelle Monaghan) for the scheduled caesarian birth of their first child.

Zack Galifianakis (Ethan Tremblay) is a newly permed pot smoking Grizzly Adams bearded aspiring actor who travels with his two companions-a white bulldog “Sunny” and a coffee can filled with the ashes of his recently departed father. He’s on his way to fulfill his dream of nabbing a role on the TV show, “Two and a Half Men.”

Their worlds collide when they end up being seated together on the same flight. Peter ignores the flight attendants request to turn his cell off for departure. Ethan takes it upon himself to remind Peter to follow the attendants orders. Peter ignores him until Ethan unleashes two words: bomb and terrorist.

Wrong move! They are swiftly kicked off the plane (Peter’s wallet and suitcase are left on the plane) and they both are put on the no fly list.

Peter begrudgingly accepts Ethan’s offer to ride with him from Atlanta across the country in his rental car. Let the bickering and bitching begin!

This odd couple works because of Robert Downey Jr.’s mastery playing the sharp tongued straight man to Zach Galifianakis’s oblivious oafish self. Peter has a hard time containing his fury when Ethan flips their rental car off a freeway badly injuring him while Ethan escapes unscathed. Ethan also gets Peter beat up by a crippled veteran at a Western Union Station.

And let’s not forget, Ethan’s wrong turn that lands them in line to enter Mexico without a passport. Peter gets arrested while Ethan escapes only later to come and save the day by “rescuing” Peter (further injuring him) from the Mexican Federales.

Todd Phillips, director and writer of (“The Hangover”, “Old School” and “Starsky and Hutch”) has surely cornered the market on creating movies geared towards the target audience of 18-24 years old males. He continues to push the envelope of decency in the name of comedy.

“Due Date” is not as funny as “The Hangover” but it is funny enough. There are a few cringe worthy scenes that will definitely offend some.

At the end of the movie, Peter has softened enough to accept Ethan for who he is, (what the audience already knows) a needy doofus who repulses you and makes you love him at the same time.

The soundtrack adds a rich layer to this movie –

It’s high time someone make a road trip comedy with females as leads. Are you listening Hollywood?

Have you seen any good movies at a dream palace lately?


Toni’ placed her dream to get her screenplay, “Divine Intervention” and reality show, “The Bitter Bus” produced on hold while she works on Club B. Toni left 8 Women dream November 2010 to work on Club B full-time.

  • I agree with Remy – I’d love to hear your screenwriting ideas for different movies – especially those you want made for your women demographic. I’d also love to see you tell what you would have written differently to make the movie better – or who you would have cast instead in the role. I love your perspective and would love to even see you cover the entire entertainment industry if you ever think of going there (you could have your own Hollywood website . . .)

    There I go again – pushing dreams at people ;-)

    I love Robert Downey Jr so i can’t wait to see this film. I love reading your reviews.


    • Toni Schram

      Robert Downey Jr. has never disappointed me in ANY role he has starred in and this one is no exception. He looks RED hot!

      You can tell throughout the movie that there is a mutual appreciation society going on between Robert and Zack even though Peter is constantly having to refrain himself from choking the ever loving life out of Ethan.

      Love ya-


  • Remy, Photographer & CEO of Cornerstone Creative

    I had some time last weekend and ‘rewatched’ Barefoot in the Park with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford (cause lets face it, Robert Redford – yum) and it was one of the only movies where he played a sharp straight funny guy. I wish he would have done more movies like that, cause his timing is perfect and he’s hysterical.

    I would love to see a road trip comedy – who would you cast in that, if you had to follow the casting formula of “due date?”

    Thanks for sitting thru that one! xox Rem

    • Toni Schram

      I believe Renee Zellweger would shine playing the uptight straight role of an architect while Janeane Garofalo (she’d have to put on some lbs.) would give a great performance as a boorish woman who doesn’t know boundaries.

      Historically, we’ve had a steady supply of male actors who could take on the role of Ethan Tremblay i.e. John Candy, John Belushi, Chris Farley. Today’s players include Zach Galifianakis, Jonah Hill and until recently Seth Rogen (he has lost gobs of weight and will be starring in “The Green Lantern” in 2011.)

      There’s a double standard in Hollywood that it’s okay to employ overweight male actors but not female actors who have extra poundage.

      Do you remember when Renee Zellweger gained thirty pounds to look “frumpy” for
      the role of Bridget Jones? She looked liked an average sized woman.

      It would be refreshing to see a woman of size get interesting character actor roles. So many of us would be able to relate to these women.

      Love ya-