You, Me and Dupree (DVD)

It’s a hit-and-miss kind of movie, this one, with a group of talented people on both sides of the camera getting the odd chance to do what they’re good at. But for every lively or inventive moment, there’s also a fair bit of dead air


Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon, Michael Douglas

As a movie, “You, Me and Dupree” is a lot like the charming freeloader of the title, played by the perpetually laid-back Owen Wilson – mostly frivolous and harmless, sometimes irritating and occasionally witty and likeable.

Put it this way: you may not mind its company while it’s around, but you’re unlikely to miss it once it’s gone.

It’s a hit-and-miss kind of movie, this one, with a group of talented people on both sides of the camera getting the odd chance to do what they’re good at. But for every lively or inventive moment, there’s also a fair bit of dead air.

It certainly has a decent set-up for a story, with Wilson’s carefree slacker Dupree taking an unauthorised week away from his job to be the best man at the wedding of Carl (Matt Dillon) and Molly (Kate Hudson).

Dupree gets the sack as a result of his unscheduled holiday, losing his apartment and his car into the bargain, and the dependable, responsible Carl offers his friend a place to crash for a few days, “A week, tops,” he promises Molly.

But even a week could seem like an eternity when Dupree makes himself at home, committing a range of domestic crimes from sleeping nude on the couple’s new couch to setting fire to the living room during a night of passion with one of Molly’s workmates.

Dupree’s far from malicious – “He’s just never been domesticated,” Carl claims – but his lingering presence in Carl and Molly’s home starts to cause friction between the newlyweds.

The character of Dupree is both the movie’s main drawcard and its main problem. Sure, his antics are enjoyable but his lack of consistency is kind of frustrating – he’s either as savvy or as clueless as a scene requires him to be, and the movie uneasily lurches from raucous farce to schmaltzy sentimentality right along with him.

“You, Me and Dupree” does hit the mark every once in a while, though, whether it’s the realistic, relaxed chemistry shared by Hudson and Dillon, a scene-stealing moment from co-star Seth Rogen as a horribly henpecked husband or a chance for directors Joe and Anthony Russo to show some of the manic, hectic energy they brought to their work on the late, great TV comedy “Arrested Development”.

And, of course, there’s Wilson, whose cheerful screen presence and crackerjack comic timing always make him a pleasure to watch, even the project surrounding him is a little shaky.

Rating :
Reviewer : Guy Davis