You, Me And Dupree

2 stars


21st July 2006

You, Me And Dupree is a film that is almost instantly forgettable. Even now, a few hours after watching it, I'm struggling to remember character names - it's that slight. It must suck to be part of a film that, while you know it's not 100% awful by any means, is completely and totally average in every way. It'll have a limited cinema release, slip onto DVD with little or no fanfare, then completely disappear off of everybody's radar for years, until they release one of those 'actor collection' boxsets, with one popular film and four shite ones on it. You, Me And Dupree will be the one you can't be arsed to watch on the Owen Wilson collection.

Dillon and Hudson play newlyweds Carl and Molly Peterson - cheers, IMDb - a young couple in love and ready to settle down with each other for the rest of their lives. Dupree (Wilson) is Carl's best friend, the kind of guy that's unreliable but loveable with it - if you trusted him to look after your cat, it'd die but he'd probably feel bad and buy you a new one. Because he's such a goof, he manages to lose his job, and with nowhere to stay, ends up on the couch at chez Peterson, but only on a temporary basis. Naturally, days turn into weeks, and the shaggy-haired layabout begins to grate on both his housemate's nerves.

Dupree looks like being a poor show from the start. The set-up is lame and clich'd ("he'll be gone in a few days!") and the characters paper-thin. To its credit, the screenplay from first-timer Mike LeSieur doesn't completely follow convention, and instead of nagging wife Molly getting the arse-ache with Dupree, it turns out that it's Dillon's over-worked bread-winner that starts getting riled. Herein lies the problem; Carl gets such a hard time at work from boss Michael Douglas, also Molly's father, that he takes home his frustration and projects it onto his friend and wife. Therefore, he's the most unsympathetic character in the whole movie, and the whole 'unwanted housemate' scenario is rendered redundant. It doesn't help that Wilson's moocher isn't really all that insufferable - in fact, after every screw-up Dupree makes, there's a short scene with him making amends afterwards. Most people who've lived at university or house shared have had a worse housemate than Dupree - he's a 12A-rated asshole with a heart.

This is Wilson on autopilot, phoning it in. All the trademarks are present and correct; the gently hushed voice, the overly friendly 'buddy' act and, although he can't help it, the enormous conk. Seriously, Owen's nose is looking more and more like a penis every single day, the poor guy. Dillon, as mentioned, has a rather thankless role, and the scenes he shares with Wilson lack that fiery back-and-forth you'd get with, say a Vince Vaughn or a Ben Stiller - the budget obviously didn't allow more than one frat packer on the payroll. The saving grace is Kate Hudson who looks absolutely luminous throughout and even manages to inject a little soul into the movie, playfully flirting effectively in the early scenes with on-screen hubby Dillon. The most memorable scene in the entire movie is a dream sequence in which she slips into a bikini swimsuit and licks Owen Wilson's face. That's what I'm taking home from this movie; not jokes, but semi-dangerous wank material.

You, Me And Dupree doesn't deserve any more than the few paragraphs I've already written, and in a sense, I'm sorry I wasted your time if you've read this far. It's painfully slim on gags and any film that dares have Harry Dean Stanton on the cast list and only give him two lines deserves to die a death. It's the kind of film you'll drag yourself to watch at the cinema, skim past in your video shop and think twice about spending '2.99 on it six months later in the summer sale. A definite dip in the career arc for all those involved, but the plus side is they've probably already forgotten about it and moved on, as should you.

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