TRASH IN MY EYE No. 24 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux
You, Me and Dupree (2006)
Running time: 110 minutes
MPAA – PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity, crude humor, language, and a drug reference
DIRECTOR: Anthony & Joe Russo
WRITER: Michael Le Sieur
PRODUCERS: Owen Wilson, Scott Stuber, and Mary Parent
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Charles Minsky, ASC
EDITORS: Peter B. Ellis and Debra Neil-Fisher A.C.E.
Starring: Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon, Seth Rogen, and Michael Douglas
Carl Petersen (Matt Dillon) and Molly Thompson (Kate Hudson) are just married, and they already get stuck with a houseguest. Carl’s longtime friend, Randy Dupree (Owen Wilson), best known to everyone as simply “Dupree,” has lost both his job and home, and Carl offers to let Dupree stay with them for a little while, much to Molly’s chagrin. However, the newlyweds start to believe that Dupree, a free-spirited bachelor, has permanently attached himself to their couch., and the longer he’s living there, the more Carl begins to suspect that Dupree may be making a move on Molly. It doesn’t help that Molly’s father, Carl’s boss, Mr. Thompson (Michael Douglas), is also giving Carl grief.
The brotherly directing team of Anthony & Joe Russo directed several episodes of the critically-acclaimed, but low-rated FOX television series, Arrested Development. They even won an Emmy Award for directed the series’ pilot episode, but Arrested Development was an offbeat series with the appropriate script writing. The Russos’ recent film, You, Me and Dupree, is the first script by new writer Michael Le Sieur to be produced as a feature film.
Ostensibly a romantic comedy about a young couple besieged by a houseguest/pest, it lacks the appropriate writing that would make it funny. The script pretends to be one thing, and then, goes off on many tangents, so the Russo Bros. apparently couldn’t do much to make You, Me and Dupree work either as a comedy or a romance. There are some humorous moments throughout the film, but the romance is dead on arrival. Overall, You, Me and Dupree is just a clumsy effort at being a slapstick, romantic comedy built around the concept of “three is a crowd.”
Even the cast, which is fairly talented, can’t extract much from this, nor do they put forth much effort at doing so. Owen Wilson’s laid-back dude character is mostly listless, and Dupree’s clumsy attempts at beach bum philosophy is… well, clumsy. Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson have no screen chemistry and their pretend romance is… well, too lethargic to call pretend. No sparks start flying when they get together. Dillon phones in his typical vulnerable, tough guy façade, and Hudson barely registers; in fact, any actress struggling to make it could have delivered the same performance as this highly paid Hollywood star for a fraction of the salary.
Also, any movie that has a Hollywood legend like Michael Douglas could at least put the man to better use than having him deliver a desert-dry performance as the jealous father-in-law.
3 of 10
Wednesday, January 31, 2007