Three’s company


The writer William Goldman said of Hollywood that everyone, whether they were acting or not, was wondering, “What’s next?” The idea is to keep working at whatever cost. And then when a movie’s a hit everyone from the light boy to the star gets another movie and then again it’s, “What’s next?”

Last year Owen Wilson had a hit with Wedding Crashers so he produced and acted in You, Me And Dupree with the Russo brothers directing. At the time of writing it is the second most popular movie in the US Box Office having earned $68.9 million in four weeks compared to Pirate Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which at number one had earned $385.2 million in five weeks. So yes You, Me And Dupree is a hit but not much of one. Internationally it will recover the $110 million spent on it.

The kind review for You, Me And Dupree was given by Bret Fetzer who writes, “There are a lot of broad comedies about men refusing to grow up, but few have the sly bite of You, Me and Dupree. Even though Carl (Matt Dillon) is newly married to Molly (Kate Hudson), when his best friend Dupree (Owen Wilson) ends up homeless, Carl invites Dupree into their house — in which Dupree promptly makes himself at home, culminating in setting the place on fire during lurid sex. But though he’s trapped between his wife and his best friend, Carl may have bigger problems as his boss — and father-in-law — hates him and is sneakily working against his marriage. You, Me and Dupree seems at first glance to be a frat-boy farce about men being emasculated by their wives, but the well-written script, guided with a sure hand by director team Joe and Anthony Russo, successfully walks a treacherous path between multi-layered characters and comic events, and is all the funnier as a result. Michael Douglas turns in a sharp, nasty performance as Molly’s overly-possessive father.”

Unkind comments come from Premiere’s Melissa Farrar whose opinion is, “Subtle jokes and character traits make Dupree likable enough to carry much — but not all — of the film’s 108 minutes.

What Wilson lacks in You, Me and Dupree is a worthy foil: a type A to complement his type Zzzz. (The absence of Vince Vaughn, Wilson’s cohort in last summer’s hit Wedding Crashers, is glaringly noticeable.) The lack of comedic balance in the film impedes it. Despite solid performances, Dillon and Hudson play the straight man twice over, which is one straight man too many. Hudson, who has shown great comedic skill in past films, seems especially shortchanged out of any humourous interactions with Wilson. You, Me and Dupree may elicit some chuckles throughout, but the premise tires before the film runs its course. Like Dupree himself, the film wears out its welcome a little, but is still entertaining.”

At the end of the day, since it was a kind of a hit, if only by comparison everyone in it gets another go. But only just. It also shows that once again not many people went to the movies in America this year. That’s the bad news. The good news is the whole of the international market is waiting to make money for Hollywood and you can bet You, Me And Dupree will make it in places like the UK, Australia and, with sub-titles everywhere else.