A review of “You, Me and Dupree” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: **

Rating: PG-13 for nudity and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

 

 

Owen Wilson plays it fast and loose and only just spares this tepid romantic comedy from droll oblivion.

Molly Thompson (Kate Hudson) and Carl Peterson (Matt Dillon) are newlyweds in the best sense of the word, glowing with the potential of their young careers, their swanky digs, and a fabulous new life together.

All is right in the world of the new Petersons. Almost. Carl is working for Molly’s dad (Michael Douglas), an arrogant land developer who only wants the best for his little girl and doesn’t think Carl is it. Adding insult to injury is Carl’s best friend Randy Dupree (Wilson) who’s on the down-and-out and looking for a place to crash.

Naturally Carl can’t turn his back on his wildly immature pal so Dupree moves in until he lands on his feet. Fat chance. Dupree is the classic man-child, high on life but lacking the necessary skills to navigate its tricky wickets.

Comedy ensues, or something that resembles it. Bathroom humor, sexual perversities, domestic mishaps and assorted assaults on the Petersons’ newly-wedded idyll pepper the action in a relentless stream of farcical shenanigans.

Would that it stopped there, rife with latent humor that a tight script could keep in motion for hours. Instead “Dupree” sidesteps funny in favor of a miscued “message” about growing up and moving on.

There are genuinely amusing moments, most at the hands of Wilson who can bring down the house by reading the phone book; all slacker charm and edgy nuance. But “Dupree” vacillates wildly between the scattered pearls of comic classics and bone-tired comic convention.

Dillon is solid enough as the straight-man, enduring his father-in-law’s ridiculous insults and Dupree’s madcap missteps with barely concealed rage. This isn’t the material one would typically choose to follow an Oscar-nominated performance, go figure. Hudson’s Molly is disappointingly one-dimensional as is the ill-cast and villainous Douglas.

Not worth passing on the summer sunshine.