Owen Wilson, Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson star in You, Me and Dupree, a buddy comedy that doesn't always hit the mark but didn't deserve the critical drubbing it received.
Wilson stars as the title character (no, not "You" or "Me"), a lovable loser who finds himself without a job, without a girlffriend, and, as of recently, without a home. His best friend (Dillon) allows him to stay at his place for a few days - but Dupree ends up staying a lot longer than expected. Dillon's character, who will remain nameless because I cannot remember his name, suddenly finds his house in shambles, his relationship with his new wife (Hudson) strained and his new job, working for his wife's father (Michael Douglas), a pain in the ass.
Wilson, who has been box office gold of late (Wedding Crashers anyone?), is his usual self, funny, charming in an obnoxious way and every bit Owen Wilson (how else to describe it?). The routine is not tiring yet, so Wilson has no reason not to stick to formula, and that is what this movie is all about. You know how it's going to end, you know how the characters are going to act, and you know how Wilson is going to be. Wilson plays it safe, but that's okay - he's still pretty funny.
Dillon, coming off an Oscar nomination, is also decent enough, though he definitely plays the pillar of intelligence against Dupree's idiotic mannerisms - even if he really isn't that smart. In hindsight, Dillon does just about everything wrong to mess up his life so much, from freaking out in front of his father-in-law to walking out on his scorching hot wife to... well, isn't that enough?
And then there's Hudson. I've always been a fan of Hudson ever since Almost Famous, mainly because she's super hot but also because she makes a good leading lady. Unfortunately, she has really bad taste in movies, and really hasn't had a true critical or box office success since Almost Famous. In fact, she is almost a guarantee for a bad movie, and that did not bode well for Dupree. And in fact, Dupree is one of Wilson's worst movies of late, so perhaps she was indirectly a factor (if you believe in such a thing). That being said, Hudson is the most enjoyable part of the movie, for the reasons listed above.
The movie in general is a mixed bag; it certainly isn't as bad as I was expecting, but it isn't great either. Though the plot is different than some, the picture is still formulaic and thus doesn't have too much originality. Michael Douglas, who has a surprisingly large role for being completely left out of the advertising, is amusing but not used to his potential. Wilson certainly doesn't reach full speed. One of the biggest problems is that the film switches gears halfway through, as Hudson's characters goes from hating Dupree to loving him, and the film turns more into a paranoia picture revolving around Dillon. Suddenly, Dupree isn't nearly as bad as he was in the first half of the movie - and that was why he was so funny.
Dupree also bears some resemblance to What About Bob?, where Richard Dreyfuss goes crazy over the presence of a loveable loser (Bill Murray). That's where the similarities end, but at least that movie had a more impactful finish, whereas Dupree simply turns into a standard romantic comedy, where the guy has to win back his woman (but in this case, it seems like a pretty simple "I'm sorry" to me).
You, Me and Dupree is entertaining enough, but really isn't any more unique than any other romantic comedy. Had it stayed clear of the romantic comedy genre and focused more on its title character (and most possible actor), it could have been much more effective. Fans of Wilson should still find this movie enjoyable, but he has done far better.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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