July 14, 2006, - 8:30 am
By Debbie Schlussel
It’s “What About Bob?” for the 2000s starring the blond Bill Murray of the 2000s–Owen Wilson.
If you loved last year’s “Wedding Crashers,” you’ll really like “You, Me & Dupree,” out tonight and sharing the same comedic star as “Crashers,” Wilson. The movie is hilarious. Not nearly as funny as “Crashers,” but close enough.
What if you had a slacker friend whose chutzpah knew no bounds– shamelessly freeloading, playing on your sympathies, and taking advantage of you? What if your new wife was the spoiled, sheltered daughter of Gordon Gekko, had he not gone to jail in “Wall Street“? What if they had that bizarre Joe Simpson-Jessica Simpson dynamic going on? What if you put them all together in your house during the early days of your marriage?
That’s the plot of “You, Me & Dupree.” Wilson’s “Dupree” is every Gen-X slacker who never grew up because American society has dumbed down personal responsibility and discipline, because liberals have said this state of loserdom is “a new mode of living” (in Hillary Clinton Wellesley valedictory speech parlance). We’re supposed to have infinite compassion for these do-nothing slackers. But Matt Dillon’s character does, and it ruins his life.
We all know one “Dupree” (or more), an aimless ne’er-do-well who can’t get his/her act together. Or rather, won’t. Because our define-deviancy-down nation demands our sympathies toward these unworthy human empty vessels. And that’s why “Dupree” is funny. It shows us the ultra-hilarious end result of Pearl Jam groupie Future World. “Dupree” is like Bill Clinton minus the elective offices. He’s riding on fumes.
Most allegedly funny movies, this summer, aren’t. Studios lie to us in marketing campaigns. They put the best jokes, the only funny parts, in the trailers, misleading you to waste ten bucks and two hours plus of your life you’ll never get back. (Not so in this movie.)
We trashed “The Break-Up” for doing just that. A non-funny film filled with a couple’s painful bickering and starring “Wedding Crashers'” other star, Vince Vaughn, trailers marketed it as the comedy it wasn’t–the comedy this film, “Dupree,” is. “Dupree” is non-stop laughter and light fun all-around, the bickering couple movie that isn’t about bickering.
Wilson makes this film. Matt Dillon serves as a great straight man, masculine husband Carl Peterson, who refuses to be feminized into a girlie-man–another message we liked from this movie. Michael Douglas plays Gordon Gekko revisited. Kate Hudson is okay. But just okay. As a proud American, her presence is our only objection to this movie. She made a series of disturbing comments dissing America and Americans–while in France(!), and we, therefore, hate to contribute to her bottom line. Anyone could have played her role with equal or better talent. Other than her, this film is recommended.
A quick warning, though: It’s not for kids. There are multiple sexual themes and jokes (language, too). Plus, you wouldn’t want to expose your kids to a guy like “Dupree,” anyway.
We won’t give away the lackluster ending, except to say that Dupree ends up in the ultimate, overpaid slacker BS dream job.
Tags: America, Bill Clinton, Bill Murray, Carl Peterson, Debbie Schlussel It, Dupree, France, Gordon Gekko, Joe Simpson-Jessica Simpson, Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon, Michael Douglas, Owen Wilson, The Break-Up, Vince Vaughn, Wall Street, Wedding Crashers, What About Bob ?