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Film / Due Date

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Due Date is the heartwarming story of two guys with vastly differing personalities traveling together on a mishap-laden journey that will, in the end, help them both to learn more about themselves.

Oh, wait... that's a different movie.

Due Date is a 2010 comedy film directed by Todd Phillips about two men (Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis) trying to get to Hollywo... er, Los Angeles.

Peter Highman (Downey) is a rather ill-tempered man, because his wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) is about to give birth and he is trying to get back to Los Angeles in time for it and figure out what to name his soon-coming child. He meets Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) and soon gets almost arrested twice, shot by a rubber bullet and put on a No-Fly list due to using the words "bomb" and "terrorist," all thanks to being near Ethan.

To make up for it, Ethan gives Peter a lift because he is going to Hollywood to become an actor. Ethan also has an interview around the same time as Peter's wife's delivery. Making the trip more difficult is the fact that Ethan seems to have never grown up and wanting to go to the Grand Canyon, Peter's inability to relax and the fact that Ethan seems unable to rub two brain cells together. Will they make it in time?

Provides examples Of:

  • Amazing Freaking Grace: A version by Rod Stewart on the soundtrack.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Ethan, very, very much. In the Italian version, he is even dubbed with a very Camp Gay voice.
  • Ashes to Crashes: Though these ashes were enjoyed as coffee.
  • As You Know: Parodied during Ethan's acting exercise.
    Ethan: (in character) As you know, I'm your fiance. I have terminal cancer.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": When Ethan is challenged to act out scene prompts, he just repeats the prompt.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: Sort of. Peter's journey is right before the birth of his child and Ethan's is right after the death of his father.
  • Black Comedy
  • Book Dumb: Ethan. For example, he thought the Grand Canyon was in Texas and that it was artificial. Peter corrects him, saying it's in Arizona and that nature carved it. He also doesn't know who William Shakespeare is (he thought he was a pirate named "Shakes-beard").
  • Break The Dummy: After getting his arm broken, Peter absolutely snaps on Ethan and tears him a new one on so many levels.
  • Break the Haughty: Every moment Peter spends in Ethan's company. Though, he isn't exactly an arrogant bastard, but just an ordinary man who just happened to have bad luck right around this time.
  • Brick Joke
    Ethan: What are you, some kind of girl or something?
  • Butt-Monkey: Peter. Special mention goes to when he gets assaulted by the Western Union Employee while Ethan does nothing about it.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Crosses with Book Dumb and The Ditz for Ethan.
  • Comically Inappropriate Funeral Urn: One major Running Gag of Due Date is that Ethan keeps the ashes of his father in a coffee can, much to Peter's dismay. They even end up drinking it by accident.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Peter
  • The Ditz: Quite often, Ethan acts in a cosmically stupid manner.
  • Easily Forgiven: Ethan. Even when Peter kicks his ass for having had his wallet the entire time, that's a sheer fraction of what Ethan deserves.
  • Empathic Environment: It's raining as Ethan breaks down crying during the last scene prompt.
  • Fat Idiot: Ethan is this, of course.
  • Foreshadowing: In the first scene of the movie, Peter describes a bizarre dream to his wife about a bear cutting his child's umbilical cord and the fact that, in the dream, he was alright with it. Guess who cuts the umbilical cord at the end of the movie?
    • There's a scene in the middle of the film where Peter gets a contact high from riding in the car with Ethan while he's smoking weed. At one point, he looks over at Ethan and sees a bear, further driving the point home.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Peter
  • Handicapped Badass: The counter of the Western Union.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold:
    • Peter may seem incredibly mean-spirited at times, but he shows plenty of signs that he's actually a good guy, namely not ditching Ethan's father's ashes on the side of the road and comforting Ethan on more than one occasion as he tries to deal with the loss of his father.
    • Ethan. His Jerkassery is mostly attributable to being an idiotic overgrown child and he is almost always well-intentioned.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Like you wouldn't believe.
    Robert Downey Jr.: (jokingly) Fuck, I'm surrounded by dickheads!
  • Humiliation Conga: The whole road trip for Peter.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Two examples from Ethan. First is when he says that Peter's reasonings for keeping ashes in coffee cans are "the dumbest things he's heard from his life", just until realizing he made a dumb choice by eating waffles since he's allergic to them. Second is when he gives Peter a Reason You Suck Speech and finally says that being with Peter is like "traveling with a child", just until he has to be reminded to use the bathroom and says "he needs to take a pee-pee" like a child.
  • Jerkass: Lonnie is a condescending Western Union Employee who belittles and beats up Peter.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Peter.
  • The Jinx: Ethan.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Just when you think things couldn't get any worse, Ethan accidentally shoots Peter in the leg.
  • Karma Houdini: Surprisingly, Ethan never gets arrested for smoking pot or stealing a deportation officer's van to "rescue" Peter, but is actually rewarded by eventually getting to appear on Two and a Half Men. In fact, every single thing negative consequence of his actions lands on Peter instead.
  • Lethally Stupid: Ethan, Ethan, Ethan! A thousand times, Ethan!
  • Manchild: Take a wild guess. Said man child couldn't be more immature if he was an actual teenager. Peter has some emotional problems as well, although stress could explain both their issues. Although, since Ethan's the one causing most of the stress...
  • Manic Pixie Nightmare Dude: Once again, it's Ethan.
  • Marijuana Is LSD: The trippy scene when Ethan is smoking in the car.
    • Justified in that Peter was also high on Vicodin at the time.
  • Mathematician's Answer:
    Peter: (to Ethan) Why are your father's ashes in a coffee can?
  • The Millstone: You already know who it is by now.
  • Mood Whiplash: Several times. The most jarring ones are when Peter challenges Ethan to act and he fails horribly until he asks him to play a football coach whose wife wants a divorce and Ethan ends up crying for real as it makes him think about his father; the second one is after Darryl accidentally makes coffee out of his father's remains but Ethan drops the ashes while trying to recover what's left, and ends up sobbing on the carpet while Peter comforts him.
    • Also from the heartwarming scene of scattering Ethan's dad's ashes to Peter beating Ethan up for having his wallet the whole time.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: A shot shows the car passing a sign that says "Dallas - 36 miles." Cut to Peter and Ethan talking in the car with mountains passing in the background.
  • Only Sane Man: Peter. Aside from Ethan, everyone else that he encounters also seems to be a bit mentally off-kilter, other than his own wife and his friend.
  • Parental Substitute: Peter is significantly more mature than Ethan and often provides fatherly comfort for him during their trip, particularly in two scenes—when Ethan accidentally drops the ashes on the carpet and breaks down, and when he convinces Ethan to spread his father's ashes in the Grand Canyon.
  • Plot Hole: The film doesn't explain how Peter and Ethan got back into the United States driving a stolen Mexican cop car and without Peter's ID.
  • Race Against the Clock: The final desperate drive to get to Los Angeles in time to see Peter's baby born.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After getting put on a no-fly list; being forced to travel with Ethan, the guy who got him put on the list, and trying without success to get money transferred from his very pregnant wife, Peter explodes at the Western Union employee. Said employee turns out to be a handicapped Iraq War veteran who trounces Peter. Later in the film, Peter finds out that Ethan had his wallet the whole time and kept it from him just so they would travel together. Peter responds understandably by slamming Ethan's face into the truck and trying to strangle him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "I despise who you are at a cellular level."
  • Repurposed Pop Song: Or rather, a Hip-Hop song: Ice Cube's "Check Yo Self" was used in a lot of commercials. Usually around the part when Ethan quotes the song.
  • Road Trip Plot
  • Shaped Like Itself: "Dad, you were like a father to me..."
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Hangover, from the same director, and to Planes, Trains and Automobiles as both films feature an Odd Couple traveling cross-country together.
  • Stock Scream: A Wilhelm Scream as Peter and Ethan are hurtling through a construction zone.
  • Token Black Friend: Peter's friend Darryl, played by Jamie Foxx (who happens to be Robert Downey Jr.'s real-life friend; they co-starred in The Soloist). In a possible parody of the Magical Negro idea, the first half of Darryl's appearance is essentially him guiding Peter to do the right thing and help Ethan; then, after an extremely short period of time, he ends up kicking Ethan out of his house himself (to which Peter is extremely sympathetic).
  • Unfortunate Names: Ethan names Peter's daughter Rosie. "Wait, 'Little Rosie Highman'?"
  • Vitriolic Best Buds
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ethan hiding Peter's wallet because he didn't want to be alone.
  • Wham Line: Ethan has something to say to Peter while they're at the Grand Canyon.
    Ethan: Peter, I have your wallet, and I've been holding onto it this whole time.
  • World of Jerkass: With the exception of Sarah and Darryl, every single character is either apathetic, unpleasant, stupid, or a combination of the three.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: It is often labelled as a mean-spirited version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Peter, fairly mildly. It's played for an odd mix of shock, laughs and character development.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain
  • Younger Than They Look / Older Than They Look: Ethan claims he's 23. He later admits it's not true, but he doesn't say how old he is.