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Overall Rating
2.5

Awesome: 2.17%
Worth A Look: 21.74%
Average36.96%
Pretty Bad: 2.17%
Total Crap36.96%

5 reviews, 16 user ratings


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You, Me & Dupree
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by Erik Childress

"Should Have You Running For That Madhouse DVD"
1 stars

Comedy is the hardest of all genres to pull off. Because of its subjectiveness, studies could probably prove that you’re more likely to pull off unintentional laughter in a bad movie than one that has culled sweat and tears to produce it. But anyone who has done it for more than a few years should have the foresight to know when what they are writing or performing is working. Even those goofball, gross-out comedies give off the sense that their makers are at least amusing themselves with humor fitted for either a child or substance-enhanced sensibility. Dupree actually steers towards adults, placating no specific demographic and should rank as one of the blandest failures to come out of a studio for some time.

On the eve of the wedding of Carl (Matt Dillon) and Molly (Kate Hudson) we are immediately introduced to the screw-up mentality of Best Man (and friend of 25 years), Randy Dupree (Owen Wilson) who ends up on the wrong Hawaiian island. When they get back home, Carl discovers that Dupree has been fired from his job and lost his apartment. In the spirit of helping an old friend out, he offers him a spot on their couch until he can get back on his feet. The next half hour proves what a bad idea that actually was beginning with the old hilarity of Dupree overflowing the toilet then busting in on the amorous couple to stink up the other bathroom. He sleeps in the nude, changes their voicemail message, gets them HBO and almost burns down their house demonstrating how the Butterscotch Stallion doesn’t always need the scotch with a slutty Mormon librarian (who is never even given the courtesy of screen time) before they decide to oust him.

Pretty much everything you have seen in the film’s ads occurs during this stretch and they’ve still got another hour-plus to fill. Molly, who initially put her foot down, sees Dupree sitting crestfallen in the rain and like a lost puppy brings him back home, this time to the chagrin of Carl. Work has been getting increasingly stressful for him thanks to Molly’s father (Michael Douglas) the owner of the land development company who knocks Carl down at every opportunity, including asking him to hyphenate his last name to include his and to get a vasectomy. All this while Dupree’s sudden renaissance as a Lance Armstrong-ist has him suspecting that his best friend is moving in on his best girl. None of this is remotely amusing and, worse, its dramatic aspirations can’t even get us to laugh at its blanket insincerity.

Like The Break-Up last month, Universal is selling the summer moviegoing audience an attempted examination of modern relationships in failed comic clothing. Underneath the annoyance of Dupree’s laugh-free behavior are scenes which clearly want emasculated males in the audience to appreciate the loss of freedom which marriage comes with if they allow it. Their other friend, Neil (Seth Rogen, who gets the film’s only decent laugh questioning the contents of his buddy’s porn collection) gets no more than an hour out on “guy’s night” and is controlled to no end by his wife (Amanda Detmer, who is silently seen in the wedding scene and then never seen on screen in focus again.) When Carl and Dupree create an impromptu guy’s night at the house to watch football, the look on every guy’s face when Molly comes home suggests something worse than if Joel Goodson’s parents had come home in the middle of his brothel party.

Using someone like Dupree as the thermometer to test the waters of a binding marriage is an antiquated technique, but not a completely useless one. The free spirit vs. the workaholic with a loving woman waiting in the middle has been done to death, but Dupree’s script by first-timer Mike LeSieur never comes out of the barren womb from which its conception sprang. Carl never blurts the obvious counter to the criticism that he’s not watching what he eats which is how easy it is to find time to work out when you have no job and no financial responsibilities. If the film is in part about Dupree’s growth towards being a man and not a boy, then why after he’s been so good does he decide to pleasure himself in the middle of their living room? This lack of consistency gets more maddening when Dupree is tossed again, only to return in the middle of a dinner party with Molly’s father where he begins climbing up the drain pipe. WHY????? He doesn’t knock on the door, its not suggested that he left something behind and was trying to get to his loft – he just climbs (and falls) in the hopes of not disturbing them in the midst of one of the lamest pieces of attempted screwball choreography I’ve ever seen in a film.

Responsible for that and all the other failed bits in the film are the Russo Bros. (Anthony & Joe) who, unlike LeSieur, are not first-timers. Their first feature, Welcome To Collinwood, was also no stretch but having directed several episodes of the brilliant Arrested Development (including the pilot), their sense of comedic timing should have been honed past the point of generic sitcom staging. Then again, considering it took awhile for the show to find its true footing in my eye and the Russos helmed three of the first four episodes, I’m beginning to understand why I didn’t recognize the brilliance of its writing or performances until much later. You, Me and Dupree doesn’t have any of that which pretty much leaves everyone in a dead end of desperation with Dillon as the straight man, Hudson the underwear/bikini eye candy without a clue and Wilson left with the unfortunate task as the sole clown trying to lampshade his way through a party that’s already ended. Imagine a sequel to What About Bob? Starring Joel Murray. With as many snips cutting out Detmer and what must have been a bigger role for Harry Dean Stanton as a bar patron, Dupree still runs an elongated 109 minutes and its too long by about 109 minutes.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14808&reviewer=198
originally posted: 07/14/06 14:01:33
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User Comments

5/07/09 art THE PIT"S! 1 stars
11/30/08 Samantha Pruitt this movie was painful to watch, and very unfunny, i hate Kate Hudon!!! 1 stars
6/18/07 Dan Long and pointless. I can't understand why this was made. 1 stars
3/06/07 Robin Hudspeth It's funny. A light-hearted movie. 4 stars
12/22/06 Ashley Corpening MOSTLY good.But Michael Douglas's character is just irritating, not entertaining. 4 stars
10/15/06 William Goss Maybe a halfhearted snicker or two, but exhaustingly average in every way. 2 stars
9/26/06 Anthony Feor Why have comedy movies gotten so tiresome? 3 stars
9/18/06 Cheryl Mayfield Cheap copout ending. Should've had Molly learn truth of vasectomy matter & confront father. 3 stars
9/16/06 Jenna Furr Funnier than it has any right to be in light of women-are-too-pure-for-poopoo implication. 4 stars
9/01/06 Mr Bayg More like, you me and my ASS. Anybody who likes this movie should suck BUTT (PERIOD). 1 stars
8/20/06 Jim Awfully long dry stretches interspersed with inspired lunacy 3 stars
8/18/06 Nix funniest movie i'v seen 4 a while 5 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant The biggest piece of shit you'll find floating at the multiplexes this summer. 1 stars
8/06/06 Chris Wilbik It was ok nothing special 3 stars
7/19/06 jay not bad 4 stars
7/16/06 Edler Same old Owen Wilson -- it is quite old! 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  14-Jul-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 21-Nov-2006

UK
  25-Aug-2006

Australia
  27-Jul-2006


Directed by
  Anthony Russo
  Joe Russo

Written by
  Michael LeSieur

Cast
  Owen Wilson
  Kate Hudson
  Matt Dillon
  Seth Rogen
  Amanda Detmer
  Michael Douglas



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