(2 / 5)
Molly and Carl (Kate Hudson and Matt Dillon) just got married. Carl’s best man Dupree (Owen Wilson) almost missed the wedding. Why? He landed on the wrong Hawaiian island. Maybe it’s supposed to show his lack of responsibility, but I’m actually not too clear on what the screenwriters were actually trying to achieve. Carl and Dupree still team up for a memorable reception, showing a sampling of their camaraderie that’s apparently been in full force since their school days.
Soon after the wedding, Carl makes the shocking discovery that Dupree is living in the bar sleeping on a cot in the corner. He’s on the verge of getting kicked out of even that meager shelter. On an impulse, Carl invites Dupree to come stay with them until he can get back on his feet. For a few days. Without asking his wife.
What ensues is several antics indicative of the house guest from hell. Dupree sleeps in the nude on the living room couch, plays with neighborhood kids when he should be job hunting, and brings trashy-looking lady friends in for late-night visits. He seems completely content to continue his stay indefinitely.
My ex and I used to watch lots of comedy. And I mean LOTS of juvenile slapstick comedy. It wore me out after about four or five in a row, but we kept watching them. Of all of those comedies, the ones starring Owen Wilson appealed more to me than most. He’s talented in his specified realm, and generally plays a likeable but hopeless character. In short, he’s made that puppy dog look and “surfer boy” charm into a downright successful career. My then-husband wanted to watch You, Me and Dupree when it first came out, so we ordered it in on a Netflix DVD.
The main characters share the screen with then up-and-coming funny men Seth Rogen and Bill Hader, who play supporting roles. Since it came out, Rogen at least has greatly expanded his role in the genre and garnered quite a following. I can’t say much about Bill Hader because I don’t follow comedy much anymore, but I’m sure IMDB can assuage any curiosity. Big-screen veteran Michael Douglas makes an appearance as Molly’s father. Sounds like a good lineup for a decent comedy flick, right? Yeah, I thought so too.
Unfortunately, Matt Dillon may well be this film’s most prominent “flat tire.” He was supposed to come off as a frustrated, yet loving and presumably charming newlywed. Instead, he came across as a somewhat good-looking Neanderthal. His character is two-dimensional, unlikable, and generally insensitive and quite annoying.
Owen Wilson, generally so talented and entertaining, is instead a goofy and immature best friend character who really isn’t very funny. I don’t know if Wilson just wasn’t at the top of his game for this film, or if he wasn’t given the role and lines needed to really pull it off. Maybe we can blame the script writer, or maybe too much partying the night before filming most of these scenes. Either way, he was pretty flat.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally trashing this movie. I’m unimpressed overall, but there are some pretty entertaining parts. The scene involving an indoor fireball caused by body butter and soothing aromatherapy candles is classic. Sadly, it takes more than four or five semi-funny things to make a film a comedy.
I think the film makers were trying to make sure and set their scene well and really convince the viewers of this couple’s chronic frustration with Dupree. As we all know, a story that requires convincing usually isn’t a very good one. They took too long hashing over the same sorts of things – sorry folks, it’s only funny the first time we see it, and then it’s predictable and boring.
Consistent acceleration may have been able to save the film, but it has the chance to spiral into dull and boring. Near the end there’s an entertaining romp through Carl’s place of business followed by a somewhat cheesy but feel-good ending, so it ended on a somewhat strong note after a weak middle.
The movie is okay, and not a complete waste of time if you just want a little lighthearted and empty-headed fun one evening. It did get a few laughs out of me even after way too much comedy, so that’s generally a good sign. You, Me and Dupree is fairly unmemorable – I wrote my first version of this review only two weeks after watching it, and already had to think to remember some of the details. That’s never a good thing, it usually means I had trouble paying attention.
I won’t go out of my way to see You, Me and Dupree again, but it is good for killing time on a lazy afternoon or for background noise if you like to have such a thing. I’d suggest that even if you’re a die-hard fan of Owen Wilson or any other of the stars in this film, rent it and watch it before you buy. You may be disappointed otherwise, because this really isn’t up to the caliber you might expect from these people.
Disclosure statement: I have no affiliation with the producers or any other representative of this movie. Its publishers, author, agent, or other affiliated individuals have not offered compensation for my review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.