In 2005, Owen Wilson played one of the titular characters in WEDDING CRASHERS, a rather amusing comic romp that proved to be a hit with audiences. A year later, the actor is starring in and serving as one of the producers of YOU, ME AND DUPREE, which could also be jokingly called HONEYMOON CRASHER.
Dupree (Wilson) is the best man at the wedding of Carl (Matt Dillon) and Molly (Kate Hudson). In true fashion, he lands on the wrong Hawaiian island and must be helicoptered over just in time for the rehearsal. From the outset, it's clear that he isn't particularly happy that his pal is getting married, but the reasons aren't made clear. Once the newlyweds return home and settle into their respective routines -- she teaches inner city kids, he works in real estate development in a firm owned by his father-in-law (Michael Douglas). During a "boys' night out," Carl learns that Dupree lost his job because he didn't really have authorization to take time off to go to Hawaii. Being jobless also means being without transportation, because he was driving a company car. Broke and homeless, Dupree has taken up residence in the local watering hole. Feeling a tad guilty, Carl agrees to allow his friend to stay with him for a few days.
Of course, Dupree turns out to be the guest from hell -- changing the message on the answering machine, sleeping naked on the living room sofa and upgrading the cable to include HBO. Carl tolerates this but Molly isn't all that pleased. She schemes to fix Dupree up with a co-worker, but the plan backfires (with the emphasis on "fire"). Carl, increasingly under pressure from his father-in-law/boss begins to suspect that more is going on between his wife and best friend. This being a movie, and a purported comedy, things eventually resolve themselves.
There are so many problems with YOU, ME AND DUPREE that I don't know where to begin. The screenplay, credited to Mike LeSieur, isn't nearly as funny as the filmmakers think. The direction by the Russo brothers (whose only other feature credit is the so-so WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD) is haphazard and unfocused. Then there's the cast.
Matt Dillon has proven in past roles to be both adept at comedy (THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY) as well as drama (CRASH), but here he flails like a fish out of water. He and Wilson are also not believable as longstanding pals. In fact, I cannot imagine anyone putting up with Dupree or his antics ... certainly not anyone in their 30s. Wilson's slacker shtick is beginning to wear thin and this film isn't going to help his status as a comic lead. Kate Hudson's character goes through so many shifts that are also not believable. Michael Douglas appears to be collecting a paycheck and nothing more.
YOU, ME AND DUPREE is another in a long line of mediocre films to be released in 2006. It ranks as one of the least funny comedies I've seen.
Rating: D MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity, crude humor, language and a drug reference Running time: 108 mins.