Making the Grades
Owen Wilson has taken over the producer's chair in his latest comedy You, Me and Dupree. He also plays the film's lead character, Randy Dupree, a free-spirited slacker who believes in living and loving life to the fullest. It's an easy attitude to adopt since the freeloader usually lives off the couches and avails of his gainfully employed buddies.
After he is fired for taking unauthorized time off to be the best man at his friend's wedding, Dupree puts on his woe-is-me face and weasels his way into the home of the newlyweds, Carl (Matt Dillon) and Molly Peterson (Kate Hudson). Unfortunately he makes a lousy guest, sleeping naked on the furniture, inviting friends over for football and beer, barging into the owners' bedroom unannounced, masturbating in the living room and starting a house fire during a kinky sexual encounter with a school librarian.
The torched sofa is a perfect reason for Carl and Molly to rid themselves of the annoying roommate. Yet unbelievably, the couple is soon rescuing the rain soaked man from a park bench. After a night out on the town and possibly a few too many margaritas, they seem to have completely forgotten Dupree's absolutely abysmal behavior.
Their obnoxious visitor, however, isn't the only one interfering with the pair's wedded bliss. At work, Carl's father-in-law (Michael Douglas) is putting inane demands on his new son-in-law, including the suggestions that he hyphenate his name with Molly's and get a vasectomy.
During these manipulative low points, Molly and Carl become sullen and distant. In a matter of weeks, the happy couple hardly talks, rarely eats together and has gone from sleeping in lingerie to wearing sweats to bed. Meanwhile Dupree manages to merrily bumble his way to a heroic high point by endearing himself to Molly's father, outrunning a security guard and rounding up the neighborhood kids to conduct a city-wide search and rescue mission.
The "three's a crowd" premise has been done before, most recently with Eddie Murphy's Donkey character in Shrek. But while Donkey is often annoying and intrusive, he lacks the general crudeness of Dupree. This friend arrives with a complete disregard for others' personal space, an uninhibited sex drive and a desire to party. Although he senses the building contention, his unwillingness to take responsibility for himself makes him completely incapable of being on his own.
Ironically, Dupree maintains people should stay true to their unique individuality, but it's his own crass and often contrived personality that will likely steer many families clear of You, Me and Dupree.