Aha! I found the trend. Or at least I think I did. Starting as far back as 2001 with Nancy Myers’ What Women Want, some romantic comedies have moved away from traditional values and become more enjoyable as a whole. I can’t think of in-betweeners for this theory (maybe Myers’ other film, Something’s Gotta Give), but it’s evident in 50 First Dates, Wedding Crashers and this film. In fact, I thought at one point that this film was like a PG-13 Wedding Crashers. It’s even got Sack (nice to see that Bradley Cooper can be something other than an asshole…mainly a holistic guy who wanders the world in tune with nature and sleeping with everybody, but still). The film deals with Trip (Matthew McConaughey) and the fact that he lives in his parent’s house…with his parents. His mother (the lovely Kathy Bates) cooks him a pancake breakfast every morning and his father (Terry Bradshaw) is completely powerless in his own household (a theme that is only partially explored in this tale). So pop hires a “personal motivator” who doesn’t have any degree in psychology but instead has a degree from the University of Hard Knocks as her first boyfriend never left his parents house. And of course the reason behind Trip’s delayed departure are much more emotional than you expected which makes the obligatory conflict/break-up scene required for every romantic comedy very powerful (damn can McConaughey act!). And you can’t talk about this film without mentioning the incredible comedic talents of Justin Bartha as Ace the geeky friend (Riley from National Treasure) and Zooey Deschanel as Kit the alcoholic bird-hater with insane mood swings. Of course they get together as well and eventually everybody works the kink in the relationship out and everybody lives happily every after. But this is one comedy that does it with style and panache.
You see Terry Bradshaw naked in the latter part of the film. This serves as a warning. But why is he naked? I can’t spoil it, but it’s pretty damn funny.