You, Me and Dupree

Bomb Rating: 

There's quite clearly something going on under the surface of "You, Me and Dupree" that makes it much more insidious than just a simple buddy comedy.

In many movies there's the idea that's on the surface and there's the one in the subtext. For instance, most children would tell you that "Harry Potter" is about a boy who discovers that he's a powerful wizard, while a literature teacher might explain that Harry represents a Britain so desperate to regain its imperial standing in the world that an imagined ability to perform magic actually gives the nation an improved sense of self-worth.

On the surface "You, Me and Dupree" is a story about a slacker named Dupree (Owen Wilson), who moves into the house of his best friend, Carl (Matt Dillon), and Carl's bride, Molly (Kate Hudson), then wreaks havoc on their lives. Dupree has the inevitable bathroom incident. He sleeps with his ass hanging out of the covers. He entices Carl into unhusbandly behavior. He does all the single, unemployed loser, best friend things one might expect. Sadly, underneath the surface is a film about men's fear of emasculation and how that manifests itself frequently as a disdain, if not outright hatred, of women.

When Carl invites Dupree to live in his house, Kate is immediately the heartless bitch because she considers it a bad idea. Then, when Molly changes her attitude toward Dupree, she remains the bad guy when Carl begins to suspect an affair. If that wasn't bad enough, Molly's father (Michael Douglas) who's also Carl's boss, is constantly insulting Carl and somehow that's her fault as well.

There's no doubt that most women have to deal with immature partners, often on a grand scale, but it's hard to imagine anyone having Molly's patience with Carl. In fact, a much better and funnier film would have been presented from the female's point of view instead of Carl's. It's up to Molly to adapt to everything in Carl's world: She's always in the wrong if she isn't doing what he wants; his weakness is her fault.

I doubt I'll win the Pulitzer for revealing that Matt Dillon can't act. Still, I have to write it because it's just not fair to anyone forced to watch. He's a catastrophic choice for the Carl role. He acts with all the subtlety of incontinent dog. He has so little chemistry with Kate Hudson that I thought it was possible he had been green-screened in next to her. There were certain points in the movie it seemed like he was invisible. That is not what they call in the film business "presence."

Go ahead and leave the me out of "You, Me and Dupree."

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