YOU, ME AND DUPREE
** (out of 5)
July 14, 2006
Owen Wilson as RANDY DUPREE
Kate Hudson as MOLLY PETERSON
Matt Dillon as CARL PETERSON
Michael Douglas as MR. THOMPSON
Seth Rogen as NEIL
Directed by: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
A long time ago, Owen Wilson left his world of writing witty and progressive screenplays with Wes Anderson to become a full-fledged movie star in front of the cameras. He’s done quite well for himself, so I don’t really blame him. After all, he’s now featured in two big summer releases during 2006. Who can blame him.
In general, I like Owen Wilson’s work. Even though he really plays the same character (most of the time) for these big films, I still like him. Heck, I even liked him in “Anaconda.” It’s only more obscure films like “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” that he gets a chance to stretch.
Now, he’s playing the same old same old in the new film “You, Me and Dupree.” To be honest, he’s really the only thing that’s worthwhile in the film.
“You, Me and Dupree” is the standard annoying houseguest film in which Wilson plays Randy Dupree, the ne’er do well best buddy of Carl Peterson (Matt Dillon). Carl has just gotten married to Molly (Kate Hudson), but within a week of coming back from the honeymoon, Dupree has landed on their doorstep with no job, no car and no place to live.
Carl lets his friend stay with them, and soon Dupree becomes a roaring nuisance. His presence strains the relationship between Carl and Molly. Plus, to make matters worse, Carl’s boss is Molly’s father (Michael Douglas), who is doing his best to undermine their marriage.
“You, Me and Dupree” reminded me a lot of this summer’s undeserved hit “RV” with Robin Williams. Where “RV” seemed to not have been written for Williams, and he seemed totally out of place in the movie, “You, Me and Dupree” doesn’t really fit Matt Dillon at all. It works great for Owen Wilson, but Dillon just doesn’t work in the role.
It seemed to me that this movie was written for Ben Stiller, but he wasn’t in the cards. Throughout the film, I kept picturing Ben Stiller in the role of Carl and, while it’s pretty similar to other Stiller roles in “Envy” and “Duplex,” I think he would have been so much better there.
Kate Hudson, while very fetching in this film (and willing to parade around in her undies and a sexy swimsuit), is wasted. She’s a secondary character at best, with most of the story focusing on Dupree and Carl. It might be marketed partially as a romantic comedy, but it’s more of a situation comedy in which two male buddies have to resolve some differences.
The story has a strong “been there, done that” feel to it. I can’t exactly place where I’ve seen the scenes before, but nothing was surprising or really all that funny in it. Near the end of the film, Wilson’s character gains steam, but not enough to carry the dead weight of the rest of the movie.
Ultimately, there’s too much of a suspension of disbelief to overcome. Why doesn’t Carl realize that inviting his best friend to live with them without checking with the wife is a bad idea. Is Dupree really that insensitive to everyone’s feelings at the beginning, yet totally understanding after the half-way point? Is Carl really such a whiney little girl that he doesn’t even tell his wife some of the shenanigans her father is doing?
Finally, while Owen Wilson is perfect for this film, the characters just seem too old. Wilson is in his late 30s, and Dillon is in his early 40s. They’re just too old to pull off the independent guys finally settling down. This stuff happens to most guys in their 20s in the real world.