Not Even Owen Wilson Can Save "Dupree" From Being a Dud
- Christa Banister Contributing Writer
- 2006 13 Jul
Release Date: July 14, 2006
Rating: PG-13 (sexual content, brief nudity, crude humor)
Run Time: 108 min.
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Actors: Owen Wilson, Matt Dillon, Kate Hudson, Michael Douglas, Seth Rogen, Amanda Detmer, Lance Armstrong
With all the annoying-but-lovable slackers he’s played recently, one can’t help but wonder if Owen Wilson ever worries about getting typecast. After all, last summer he was crashing weddings, and now as Dupree, he’s an unwanted guest at the home of his best friend Carl (Matt Dillon) and his new bride, Molly (Kate Hudson).
But despite the similarity in the parts he accepts, there’s something endearing – and terribly funny – about him. Maybe it’s the broken nose, the finger-stuck-in-a-light-socket hair, or the way he delivers a line like “We can go halfsies” after taking the liberty to order HBO for him and his new housemates. But whatever it is, he still can’t save a movie with far too many low-brow gags and a plotline as thin as Molly herself.
In what’s essentially “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” meets “Meet the Parents,” we’re introduced to Carl and Molly – the perfect, just-married couple. Well, perfect, aside from that nasty father of hers (Michael Douglas) who’s determined to sabotage the marriage because he believes that no one’s good enough for his little girl – especially Carl. But before he encourages Carl to get a vasectomy or to think about taking Molly’s last name, Dupree does a pretty good job of causing marital strife by moving in after he’s been fired from his job.
Of course, for those who’ve seen the trailer before, you know what happens next. Dupree stops up the toilet in the couple’s master bedroom in a major way. He sets the house on fire during a hot date with the promiscuous school librarian who he's been set up with by Molly. Then after they’ve had enough of Dupree, Carl and Molly eventually kick him out, but don’t have the heart to leave him homeless. It’s all very predictable, but there’s still a laugh or two in all the madness.
Unfortunately, these gimmicks never translate into much of a story as you’re left wondering why exactly you’re watching in the first place. And later on, as Molly's and Carl’s marriage begins to fall apart because Carl’s spending too much time at the office (working for his hideous father-in-law, no less), the script grows even more unbelievable in an unnecessary twist. Dupree undergoes the quick, Hollywood transformation from an irresponsible loser to the sensitive guy who writes poetry, cooks gourmet meals and does anything he can to rekindle the couple’s relationship. While it’s great to see him focus on someone other than himself, it’s all a little difficult to buy, given his past shenanigans.
But then again what more can one expect from an Owen Wilson comedy? It isn’t supposed to be Shakespeare after all. Still, like the movie it heavily borrows from (“Meet the Parents"), “You, Me and Dupree” would’ve benefited from a better screenplay and more standout performances from someone other than Wilson. Even though it also stars Dillon (in a very forgettable, wooden performance) and Hudson, who brings the requisite pretty face and the genetic, comedic timing of her mother, Goldie Hawn, the movie was clearly designed for Wilson and his adorable-but-mostly-dim-witted charms. And sadly that’s not enough to merit more than a rental.
AUDIENCE: 13 and up, but parents should be cautioned that the filmmakers take major liberties for a PG-13 flick – especially with content of a sexual nature.
- Drugs/Alcohol: There are several scenes where alcohol is consumed – at the wedding, in a bar during guys’ night out, while watching the “big game” on TV and during dinner.
- Language/Profanity: There’s plenty of unsavory language including one “f” word and profanity of a religious nature.
- Sex/Nudity: In addition to the countless sexual innuendos, Dupree has a penchant for sleeping in the buff (his backside is briefly shown). Molly walks in and catches Dupree and the school librarian having sex. Dupree is caught “pleasuring himself” later on. In a fantasy scene, Molly is dressed in a very skimpy bikini. One of Carl’s friends takes his collection of Asian porn after Carl throws it away.
- Violence: Mr. Thompson hits Carl in the head with a candlestick which progresses into a full-blown fight where Dupree eventually ends up needing a neck brace. Later on, Dupree gets hit by a car while riding his bike.