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YOU, ME AND DUPREE (2006) (PG-13)


Official Site

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Producers: Mary Parent, Scott Stuber, Owen Wilson

Written by: Mike LeSieur

Cast: Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon, Michael Douglas, Seth Rogen


The plot is familiar. Odd, down-on-his-luck friend needs a place to stay and quickly takes over the household, turning it upside-down. Dupree (Wilson) is a hapless goof who can’t hold a job and doesn’t seem to be much good at anything except rallying the neighborhood kids to play baseball and ride skateboards in the middle of the street. Meanwhile, Carl and Molly (Dillon and Hudson) are a hardworking pair of newlyweds. Carl works for Molly’s father, a Gordon Gecko-ish real estate developer played by Michael Douglas. Molly is a sweet schoolteacher who helps inner-city children.

Shortly after the honeymoon, Dupree moves in, and following a series of mishaps, including a nasty toilet episode, he even succeeds in burning much of the newlyweds’ living room to the ground. Finally, Molly has had enough, and orders her husband to give Dupree the boot. Here is where the film gets sort of interesting, and provides most of its laughs. Dupree eventually moves back in, forming an unlikely alliance with Molly, which leads Carl to develop an unhealthy jealousy, which leads to preposterous fantasies and, ultimately, domestic violence. But Dupree’s dolphin-flogging in the living room while watching Carl’s Asian porn collection is far more pathetic and sad than funny.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, released from their canceled television series “Arrested Development” do their best with the material, written by first-time screenwriter Michael LeSieur. Unfortunately, it never rises above cliché-ridden, sitcom humor.

While Matt Dillon tries desperately to inject some straight-man humor into the film, playing the put-upon friend and luckless husband, he seems hopelessly miscast. This is a role that would have been far better suited to Ben Stiller or even Owen’s brother, Luke. Dillon is just too stiff and uptight to be funny. Kate Hudson is acceptable as the devoted wife and daughter who dreams of leading a normal suburban existence, but try as she might, she will never be Goldie Hawn. And though Owen Wilson succeeds at playing a big-hearted dope who can’t seem to escape his own childhood, his presence quickly becomes annoying. Perhaps it’s just too much scenery chewing.

More than anything, You, Me and Dupree cannot escape its characters’ one-dimensionality. While the premise is not wholly original, it might have been a much better film if the writing were sharper and the casting a bit more inspired. To put it frankly, there is about one ounce of wit in this ramshackle comedy. Unfortunately, for such a star-laden Hollywood product, one ounce is not enough to deserve a second viewing, or, if you value your time, a first one.

—Tiffany Crouch Bartlett

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

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