Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Robert Downey Jr does the dirty in Due Date

I finally got around to watching Due Date, which I’ve wanted to for a while because it has two of my favourite actors in it (Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis). I enjoyed the movie, but it’s gone down in my list of Top Ten Movies of All Time for the scene in which Robert Downey Jr’s character punches an irritating pre-teen boy in the stomach.

It’s such a fabulously unexpected and wildly politically incorrect scene that I missed the next 10 minutes of the movie because I was rolling around on the floor in hysterics. Because, really, who among us hasn’t been driven to near-violence by the behaviour of other people’s children?

This is not to say that my own pre-teen children were perfectly behaved – they most assuredly weren’t, because pre-teen children are just like that. But it’s bad enough putting up with the annoying behaviour of your own kids, without being subjected to that of other people’s.

But it’s a very sensitive subject around parents of kids of all ages: the simple fact is that parents don’t appreciate having the shortcomings of their little darlings pointed out to them (and the same goes for me and my kids). I wrote a column for parent24 about this subject as it applies to toddlers, and the range of responses – from those who accused me of being a child-hater to those who congratulated me for saying what needed to be said – was interesting.

Anyway, for anyone who’s ever wanted to punch a kid, that scene in Due Date is the ideal conduit for your vengeful fantasies. Whenever you find yourself clenching your fists and eyeing a pre-teen’s midriff, watch it. It’ll probably keep you out of jail.


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