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YOU, ME AND DUPREE

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon, Seth Rogen, Amanda Detmer, Michael Douglas
Directors: Anthony & Joe Russo
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Universal
Features: See Review
Length: 110 Minutes
Release Date: November 21, 2006

“I don't live to work, it's more the other way around. I work to live. Incidentally, what's your policy on Columbus Day?”

“We work.”

“Really? The guy discovered the new world. I'm afraid to even ask about Victory Over Japan Day.”

Film ***

Who else could play such a loser character with more likeability than Owen Wilson? It’s hard to accomplish such a task, but Mr. Wilson, who’s impossible to dislike in just about any movie he’s in, succeeds in doing just that in You, Me and Dupree. The film itself is something of a predictable comedy, but the energetic qualities of its stars make it a worthwhile experience, with frequent laughs to be had.

Wilson plays Randolph Dupree, a free spirited guy who’s always seemed to be down on his luck but never one to let it show. His lifelong best friend, Carl (Matt Dillon), is about to tie the knot with the love of his life, Molly (Kate Hudson). Dupree, no surprise, will be the best man at the event.

But Carl and Molly are about to experience a somewhat different first set of weeks as newlyweds. When Carl learns that Dupree has not only lost his job but is also homeless and car-less, he offers his best friend shelter at his home until he gets back on his feet. Of course, Carl and Molly are praying that it won’t take him long to do so.

Though Dupree begins an energetic act of job-hunting, none of them are successes. Dupree’s likeable but eccentric personality doesn’t seem to sit well with potential employers. To make matters worse, he’s inspires Carl to return to his pre-marriage days of partying, having unscheduled “guys nights” at the home when Molly isn’t around.

After endless freeloading and one wild night too many, Dupree is forced out of the house. However, like a bad penny, he keeps coming back. Carl and Molly decide to give him one more chance, but this time around, it’s Molly who’s sympathetic to his dilemma. It’s Carl whose patience is running thin by this point.

And Carl’s reason for his low patience is coming mostly from work. He happens to work for Molly’s very overprotective dad (Michael Douglas). From the get-go, it appears that Carl has never been satisfactory husband material, and as a result puts him under a harsh work schedule. He has to work late hours, resulting in plenty of time for Molly and Dupree to be alone together and causing Carl to be even more stressed out.

While You, Me and Dupree may not add up to a strikingly memorable comedy like that of Wedding Crashers, it’s also better than overrated fare such as The Break Up, and it’s the cast that saves it from going under. Wilson incorporates many funny moments, in such scenes as where he comes to speak to Molly’s school class on Career Day. Such other funny moments include when Dupree attempts to have games of baseball with kids in the neighborhood, with disastrous results. And try catching your breath during the scene where Dupree convinces Carl to do a little skateboarding on a ramp.

After watching his intense turn as a prejudice cop in Crash, it’s really nice to see a lighter side of Matt Dillon. He doesn’t do much comedy, so it’s somewhat refreshing to see him in any kind of light material, and he makes the perfect straight man opposite Wilson’s wackiness. And Kate Hudson, more beautiful than ever (can I just add for the record that I REALLY like seeing her in underwear?), is endearing as the wife caught in the middle of multiple predicaments.

So You, Me and Dupree is a comedy that finds the right notes to be a perfectly acceptable comedy. It’s formulaic to a degree, but it does manage to finish off tremendously well—something a comedy doesn’t always get noted for. If you want a comedy with a good many laughs and good turns from the cast involved, then you’ll be more than satisfied.

BONUS: Cyclist Lance Armstrong appears briefly in perhaps the funniest scene in the whole movie.

Video ****

Universal’s handling of the anamorphic video is that of a thoroughly crisp and clear presentation. Image quality is sharp and terrific from beginning to end, and the vibrant colors add to the excellent quality. Flawless indeed!

Audio ***

Though a dialogue-oriented comedy, the 5.1 mix does deliver in the expected areas. Dialogue delivery is exceedingly clear and well delivered. And the numerous songs on the soundtrack play off wonderfully. While we’re on the subject of songs in the movie, one of my favorite songs by my favorite band, “Fix You” by Coldplay, plays amazingly well during one of the movie’s final moments.

Features **1/2

Included are two commentary tracks; the first with directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the second with writer Michael Le Sieur and producer Scott Stuber. The rest of the extras are somewhat run of the mill, including Deleted Scenes, an Alternate Ending, an Outtakes reel, and a photo album titled “Dupree’s Memories”.

Summary:

Though it won’t work much to stimulate the brain cells, You, Me and Dupree will work much on your ability to laugh and have a simple good time. Wilson, Dillon, Hudson and the rest of the cast make the most of it. Enjoyable, to say the least!

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