Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not find words of knowledge.
Were it not for a juvenile masturbation scene I’d be glad to recommend this bit of fluff as delightful diversion from one’s cares and troubles. You’ve seen this formulaic story before, a road trip film involving an Odd Couple with a pressing deadline for arriving at their destination. They begin hating each other because the Fool causes the Sane Man all kinds of ruinous grief from the very first moment of their unfortunate meeting.
Robert Downey Jr. makes a good straight man to Zach Galifianakis’s fool when they inadvertently switch bags at the airport. Peter Highman (Downey) is in a hurry to return from Atlanta to L.A. because within five days his pregnant wife is due to deliver their first child. Thanks to the bumbling Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis), he loses his wallet and luggage and winds up on the government’s “No Fly” list. Ethan, also put off the plane because of their altercation, offers the hostile Peter a ride in the car he rents, and thus begins the Trip From Hell.
Somewhere in this crazy cream puff of a film there’s probably a moral or lesson—probably that we need to laugh more in the midst of troubles—but with the unnecessary (though admittedly funny) masturbation business, I cannot imagine a church group watching or discussing the film.
In the unlikely event that f you are drawn into a group discussion of this film, check out the generic questions on pp.54-56 of my Faith & Film.