The most clever aspect of You, Me and Dupree is its rhyming title—after that, it’s one long, steep decline into suffering. Destined to be forgotten by the end of its opening weekend (at the absolute latest), Anthony and Joe Russo’s slapdash three’s-a-crowd clunker is the most exasperating type of cinematic blunt instrument, exemplifying the depressing Hollywood paradigm that likeable (if apathetic) stars, a stale (yet recognizable) premise, and one climactically cheesy Coldplay song are all that’s necessary to fill summertime movie theater seats. That it has neither a novel nor exceptional thought in its hackneyed head seems to have persuaded no one associated with the project to abandon ship, but a desire to flee is the main reaction elicited from this clumsy “comedy,” which takes advantage of its concept—newlyweds Carl (Matt Dillon) and Molly Peterson (Kate Hudson) have their lives disrupted after Carl’s jobless and homeless best buddy Dupree (Owen Wilson) begins staying at their house—for pitifully unfunny farce. Dupree, a stunted adolescent slacker with a heart of gold and a way with kids, burns down the Peterson’s living room. Dupree interrupts Carl and Molly having sex in order to stink up their bathroom. Dupree gets caught masturbating to Carl’s secret stash of porn. Dupree unintentionally gets an Asian kid beaten up for being unathletic. The list goes on but the laughs never materialize, every scene and every character—including Wilson’s Dupree, whose halfhearted hipster doofus routine isn’t nearly wacky enough to hang 108 minutes on—primarily envisioned with commercial-ready witticisms in mind. While Dupree makes an unlovable ass of himself, the one-dimensional Carl and Molly alternate between acting smitten with each other and infuriated at their pesky friend, with Hudson reduced to smiling brightly and prancing about in skimpy underwear and Dillon left to express Crash-ish sentiments regarding the poetry-writing Dupree being a “homo.” It’s a flat, feeble film that, as a compendium of lethargic tropes focused around middle-class dolts learning valuable life lessons from an unwelcome loafer, is ultimately a lot like Sinbad’s Houseguest. Only worse.
You, Me and Dupree's exteriors are luxuriantly saturated, but its interiors, though equally polished on this DVD edition, are almost humble by comparison. A middle ground could have been struck here, thus avoiding the eye-straining the film induces whenever someone walks out or into a building. The audio faces no such problems-a rich track that boasts striking surrounds and crystal-clear dialogue.
First, two commentary tracks I can't imagine anyone wanting to listen to, one with directors Anthony and Joe Russo, a second with writer Michael Le Sieur and producer Scott Stuber, though the Russo brothers' fondness for Matt Dillon is almost cute. (One especially revealing, albeit creepy, tidbit: Universal understandably rejecting the idea the brothers had to shoot the film in black and white-with the exception of Dillon.) Other extras to bemoan: eight deleted scenes with optional commentary, outtakes, a spoof trailer, a glimpse through Dupree's memoirs, an alternate ending, and previews for movies too awful to mention.
The film's DVD cover begs one important question: Is this Lesley Nagy person the new Earl Dittman?