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STUDIO: Universal Studios
RUNNING TIME: 110 Minutes
● Commentary by directors Anthony and Joe Russo.
●Commentary by writer Michael Le Sieur and producer Scott Stuber
●"Dupree’s Memoirs" interactive scrapbook
●Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
“It’s [(The Dirty Dozen/Three Kings)(Sixteen Candles/Hard Eight) – (Five Easy Pieces)^The One]!”
Owen (Shanghai Knights) Wilson, Matt (Deuces Wild) Dillon, Kate (The Skeleton Key) Hudson
Newlyweds Carl (Dillon) and Molly (Hudson) are about to begin their new life together when Carl’s best friend Dupree (Wilson) shows up freshly evicted and without a job. What starts out as ‘a few days’ turns into weeks, allowing for hijinx of the wacky variety to ensue. Dupree’s continual ineptitude leads to a rift between Molly and Carl. Will Dupree get his shit together in time to fix the damage he’s caused to his best friend’s marriage? Will Molly’s successful father finally accept Carl both as an employee and as his daughter’s husband? If a comedy fails in the theater, do you hear a laugh? If you love paying hard earned money for sitcom-quality comedy, you’ll love You, Me and Dupree!
The lengths to which some people will go to make a poop joke.
You, Me and Dupree is another in a long line of poor comedies that forget to contain jokes, leaving the viewer with a schizophrenic mess of a movie that never finds its tone in which the actors and even the plot seem to sleepwalk their way through the inexcusably long running time.
Meet the new Joe Black, same as the old Joe Black.
The acting in the film is disposable. It’s hard for the audience to give a shit about what happens to the Hudson and Dillon characters throughout the film because they’re quite simply uninteresting. The only time the film has any energy to it whatsoever (and don’t confuse energy with quality, just think of it as meaning ‘slightly more tolerable’) is when Owen Wilson is onscreen. He manages to flesh out Dupree beyond the clichéd ‘unruly house guest’ set-up, allowing for the film to keep its head above water so long as he’s on screen and ad-libbing his ass off. Michael Douglas does nothing with a nothing role, and Seth Rogen is wasted as a comedic ringer. Go back and read that last part again, I’ll wait for you. How one wastes Seth Rogen is beyond me (just point the camera and let him fix the material for you), but somehow it’s done here.
"I’m telling you Owen, it can’t miss. We’ll get Stiller to play Vasectomy and Shadyac to direct. It’ll make millions!"
On the bright side, the studio had the foresight to hire what amounts to the best hired guns you can get these days for a comedy in the Russo Brothers. Their work on Arrested Development and Welcome to Collinwood showcased an ability to deftly balance slapstick and verbal comedy while at the same allowing for genuine human sentiment to find its way within the chaos. Unfortunately, they’re given nothing to work with here. Only when the film allows them to let loose outside of the plot (a Matt Dillon hallucination and the third act chase are the only scenes that I can really remember as being visually distinctive, and I’ve watched this fucking movie three times) are they able to create energetic sequences that harken back to their work on previous, better projects. The brothers are usually able to create a sort of alchemy between all of their different influences that blends together to create something that is fresh and inventive, but here their work just resembles a horrific Frankenstein’s monster of comedy.
The Rock’s transition to serious actor was finished after his Stallone-esque method acting in Cop Land 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold.
The first hour and a half consists solely of shitty sitcom-level setups (Oh no, Dupree’s flooded the toilet! Oh boy, now he’s pooping in a different toilet! And would you believe this? He’s gone and fallen off of the roof!) that leaves the viewer wondering when the movie will ever find its rhythm. The more subtle jokes (even a Catfish Hunter reference, which is right in my wheelhouse) don’t mesh well with the broad physical ones and everything ends up feeling out of place and disjointed, making for a very uncomfortable viewing experience. And even when the film makes a solid screenwriting turn at the midway point that would service a better film and keep the audience’s interest at a maximum, here it’s completely squandered on a plot and characters that nobody involved in the film seem to have invested any energy in. When the film finally finds its way for the last ten or so minutes and actually creates a few chuckles, it’s beyond too late as there’s no goodwill left in the viewer to muster up the energy to care about these characters and their situation. If you like to laugh, throw this DVD at someone’s face, don’t buy it.
First off, I have to mention the cover (the copy I received doesn’t have the inexplicable “Romantic Favorites” border that accompanies the image at the top of the review). I’m calling a moratorium on poorly Photoshopped DVD covers on studio releases. Are you telling me there wasn’t a single image more indicative of the tone of this movie other than Matt Dillon shrugging as if to say “I’m even phoning it in on the cover!” while Owen Wilson has a horrific Kate Hudson-shaped cancerous growth coming out of his shoulder? A little effort would be appreciated, Universal. The audio (Dolby Digital 5.1) and the widescreen transfer are both solid as would be expected for a mildly successful studio picture that will make decent bank on DVD. To be fair, if you liked this movie: a) I hate you and b) this disc is stacked to the tits for your enjoyment. You get a handful of deleted scenes and an alternate ending all with optional Russo Brothers commentary, none of which are particularly good or missed in the film’s current incarnation. The two commentaries are overkill and often overlap one another in terms of their information (if you’re going to listen to one, make it the Russo Brothers), and neither are particularly enlightening and/or entertaining. The “Dupree’s Memoirs” feature is just a handful of EPK-quality featurettes ensconced within an interactive scrapbook of Dupree’s life. Lacking a better analogy, it’s like a hollowed-out fake turd with clumps of wet, greasy shit on the inside. Also included is a spoof trailer that sells the film as a horror/thriller, which goes a long way towards showing how easy it is to package films in their respective genres as even the trailers have become recognizably clichéd with their specific tropes (all that this was missing was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake camera exposure sound effects accompanying still images). There are also previews for the new American Pie direct-to-video shitstorm and Hot Fuzz when you first pop the disc in, so enjoy the Pegg while it lasts, as you won’t be laughin’ again for a long while.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the best part of You, Me and Dupree.
5.4 out of 10