We're less than a month away from the release of Due Date, a road trip comedy that's banking heavily on the odd couple pairing of stars Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. Warner Bros. has debuted four new TV spots and all of them seem designed to highlight the more slapstick elements in the film.
Due Date follows a father-to-be (Downey Jr.) reluctantly traveling across the country with a quirky stranger (Galifianakis) in order to make it home in time for the birth of his child. Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Danny McBride, RZA, Alan Arkin, and Juliette Lewis round out the impressive cast in director Todd Phillips' follow-up to The Hangover.
The new TV spots are made up predominantly of footage already showcased in the trailers, but there are a few new gags peppered throughout. Given the talent involved with this film, I can't think of an easier sell for a studio's marketing department. Check these out and see how they did:
I'm going to be honest- none of these really do much for me. In fact, with the exception of the most recent trailer, I've been pretty underwhelmed by all of the promotional materials thus far. However, I still have a tremendous amount of faith that Due Date is probably an incredibly funny film that's being sold very poorly.
Yes, it's essentially Planes, Trains & Automobiles (Galifianakis even looks a little like Del Griffith in this!) but who's curiosity isn't piqued at least a little bit by this pairing? I'm just going to remind myself how difficult it must be to preserve timing, tone, and delivery in a 30-second TV spot and keep my fingers crossed that the best parts are unsuitable for the trailers. It's also hard to forget that Downey at one point referred to this as "the second greatest movie I've ever done."
None of the commercials for The Hangover left me dying to see that film either - it was the persistent and passionate word of mouth that finally got me to the theater. We'll see if Due Date manages to whip up a similar frenzy.
In the end, I don't think it matters whether or not these advertisements are very funny (that coffee joke belongs in a Three's Company episode). All people need to see are the names on the poster and hear who's directing it and I'm fairly certain they'll have a hit on their hands.
Due Date arrives on November 5th.
Source: Warner Bros.