Letter from LA
Pooch steals the show from Robert Downey Jr. & Zach Galifianakis at Due Datepremiere
What happens when the best actor of our time (Robert Downey Jr.) teams up with the hottest comedian (Zach Galifianakis) and the biggest comedy director in the world (Todd Phillips)? The answer is Due Date, the road trip comedy opening in theaters Friday.
Let me say: I’m a lousy road trip buddy. Gas station coffee makes me excessively chatty. I change radio stations every three minutes. I can’t read maps without getting carsick, and I’m a vocal backseat driver. I’m a bundle of nerves when I’m behind the wheel, especially at night, when my astigmatism (football shaped eyeballs) turns tail lights into a laser light show. These are the reasons I usually opt to fly.
But Due Date is a road trip worth taking. After being put on a no-fly list, expectant father Peter Highman (Downey Jr.) is forced to drive cross-country with hapless aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) in order to make it home in time for his child’s birth. The film is fast paced, unpredictable, and has a surprising amount of emotional depth. And the cinematography captures the jaw dropping beauty of the American landscape.
OK, this is where I have to fess up: I am completely biased — my husband Adam Sztykiel co-wrote the film. So don’t take my word for it; take Robert Downey Jr.’s. He’s calling it: the second greatest story ever told. (OK, maybe Downey Jr. is a little biased too).
Last Thursday night, the Due Date filmmakers and its stars — Galifianakis, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Michelle Monaghan and Downey Jr. — gathered in Hollywood for the premiere at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. (You know, it’s the 1920’s cultural landmark with movie stars’ cemented handprints out front). Hollywood Boulevard was blocked off. Fans cheered from across the street. The stars posed in front of film-inspired tableaus, including an Atlanta International Airport check-in counter, a beat up truck, and a Mexico border crossing sign.
Sunny, Galifianakis’ French Bulldog sidekick in the film, trotted past the clicking cameras. Confident with her performance in the film, she seemed unfazed by all the hoopla. She flopped down for a rest on the ‘black’ carpet (the red carpet was black with white dashes to resemble a road).
The swanky premiere party kicked off at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel after the screening. As if on a culinary road trip, guests nibbled fried chicken and waffles, sliders, fish tacos, and mini doughnuts fried to order. I never thought I’d get the chance to eat a Twinkie at a fancy Hollywood party — unless I snuck it in my purse.
I was happy to check that off my Tinseltown bucket list.
Follow Ellie Knaus in her blog and her twitter @EllieInLa