Jennifer Merin reviews “You, Me and Dupree”

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YOU, ME AND DUPREE: FAN FODDER

If you’re madly in love Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson, you’ll want to dash to the theater to catch “You, Me and Dupree”– because the film delivers a full dose of Wilson and Hudson, charming as ever, playing characters you’ve seen them play before in other films.

Here, Wilson plays Dupree, the charming but ne’er-do-well best friend of Carl, a regular standup kinda guy (played straight on straight man by Matt Dillon) who’s newlywed Molly, a proper-ish sweetie-pie grade school teacher (played by Hudson

When Dupree loses his job, his car and crib, he moves in with Carl and Molly, entirely disrupting their yuppie lives: he sleeps butt-naked on their butter-soft leather sofa, causes their toilets to overflow, invites the guys– and strippers– to watch sports on TV, causes fights among neighborhood kids, spreads his crap all over the place, has kinky candle-lit sex with Molly’s librarian friend that causes a sofa-scorching fire

Meanwhile, Carl, who’s squelched at work by his overbearing employer/father-in-law (Michael Douglas), stops functioning at home. So, Molly confides in/bonds with Dupree, who, in an instantaneous and unexplained reversal of character, reveals himself to be a truly sensitive, supportive companion– preparing gourmet dinners, reading Mensa journals, writing haiku and making Carl inflammably jealous. Wow! Isn’t this the funniest?

Not really.

Admittedly, Wilson’s comic timing produces a few good laughs within the lackluster script, and it’s hard to dislike the cute-as-a-button Hudson. But “Dupree” isn’t their finest filmic hour– or, 105 minutes, actually. And this material’s a real crash for Matt Dillon. These actors are capable of so much more.

Of course, “Dupree” might just be this summer’s best date flick, ’though– because if you sit in balcony and start smooching, you won’t miss anything you really need to know. On the other hand, there’s not much to turn you on.

But if you’re that hot for Wilson and Hudson, you’d best rush to see “Dupree” asap– it might not be around for long. (Published in New York Press)

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).