Movie Review: You, Me & Dupree

By Amy Lamare, July 15, 2006

You, Me and Dupree (DUPRE) is the latest comedy to enter the already oversaturated box office space. This film from directors Anthony and Joe Russo stars the Butterscotch Stallion Owen Wilson (OWILS), Kate Hudson (KHUDS), Matt Dillon (MDILL) and Owen Wilson’s Hair (OHAIR). Yes, Owen’s hair deserves star billing all its own as it takes on its own persona in its dishevelment and rebellion.

Hudson and Dillon play Molly and Carl, newlyweds who’ve just returned from their Hawaiian wedding to find their best man, Dupree, down on his luck. Dupree is out of work and sleeping in a cot in the back room of a dive bar. Ever optimistic, Dupree refuses to let it get him down. Carl though, as the responsible friend, convinces Molly that Dupree should stay with them for a short while until he can get back on his feet.

Dupree moves into Carl and Molly’s house lock, stock and moose head. He is loud. He is messy. He sleeps naked. On their leather sofa. And his hair-God won’t someone please take a brush to it? Wilson’s Dupree is like a grown up Dennis the Menace. Well, grown up on the outside, anyway. Dupree prefers hanging with the local kids rather than people his own age. Molly quickly tires of Dupree’s antics. But it takes 2 strippers, 1 nymphomaniac, major destruction of property, several porn tapes and Dupree walking in on the newlywed’s foreplay to take a rather prodigious and aromatic dump in the master bath for Carl to lose his cool. He kicks Dupree out.

Dupree promptly gets himself into a bit of a pickle and Molly softens. Here is where we hit what little character arcs there are in this film. Dupree becomes the confidante for Molly and her ever increasing disillusionment with her marriage. Carl, meanwhile, works for Molly’s land developer father, played by Michael Douglas (MDOUG), and is subjected to the various ridiculous hoops he makes Carl jump through. Carl starts spending more and more time at the office and comes home pissed off and tired. As Dupree, now called Randolph by Molly, and Molly get closer – Molly and Carl grow distant. Dupree becomes the one who can see exactly what the other needs and tries to put it all back together.

Carl, however, cannot see what’s going on, so focused is he on his own persecution complex. He thinks his wife is having an affair with Dupree, yet he’s not sure his father-in-law asking him to have a vasectomy is a bad thing. Dillon’s performance is rather wooden and unbelievable. As the straight man in the situation, Hudson is wonderful. She is likeable and her reactions are believable and she is a good foil to the extremities of her costars. Wilson is, well, Wilson. He essentially plays a more hyper active version of the slacker character we’re used to seeing.

And its not so cute as he crests the hill on his way to 40, either.

The problem with You, Me and Dupree is that it isn’t sure what kind of film it wants to be. Is it a romantic comedy in the vein of last summer’s Wedding Crashers, or is it a straight up comedy with substantial gross out factor? In other words, does it appeal to both men and women or just men? At times, usually when the scene involves Hudson and Wilson, the film is truly heartwarming. Molly’s calm and nurturing personality brings out the best in Dupree. She can see the man behind the slack.

Then at other times, usually when Dillon and Douglas are in the scene-its just low grade not that funny comedy. Dillon’s character does not go through much of a transition. Though he becomes paranoid and a bit crazy in the middle-he was never all that warm and open a guy in the beginning of the movie for the audience to bond with him. So we’re left wondering what a great girl like Molly is doing with such a stick in the mud.

Overall You, Me & Dupree is lightly amusing but falls way short of the mark set by last summer’s hits The Wedding Crashers and The 40 year-old Virgin. The Breakup, Click (CLICK) and The Devil Wears Prada (PRADA) are all recent comedies that have been bringing in respectable box office profits. The comedy Little Man (LTMAN) is also being released this weekend. You, Me & Dupree faces a lot of competition and does not have worthy sea legs to ride it out.

This work is the property of Stock Exchange and Amy Lamare. It is not to be reused, reprinted or stolen under any conditions.

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