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What, me, slack?

A review of You, Me and Dupree (PG-13)


In his own special way, Randy Dupree (Owen Wilson) - prepares for a slumber party.
  • In his own special way, Randy Dupree (Owen Wilson) prepares for a slumber party.

*You, Me and Dupree (PG-13)

Carmike Stadium 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown
Oh, sweet, sly celebration of slackerdom that is You, Me and Dupree I'm so glad we met. I really, really like you a lot and hope we can be good friends. I almost love you even, maybe. I could probably be persuaded to fall head over heels. I'll have to think about it.

Know what I love about you? I love that you give us Owen Wilson, who has made a career out of playing the "lovable fuckup," as his Randy Dupree here dubs himself and then you have the balls to have Matt Dillon as his best friend, Carl Peterson, say to his face, "You're not that lovable."

Wilson has a talent for turning loafing and mooching into something Zen and almost religious. But only in the movies is that kind of thing adorable and charming. In reality, you'd kick him out of your life if you didn't actually kill him first, especially if he behaved like Dupree and pulled any of the truly thoughtless and inconsiderate crap he dumps on Carl and his new wife, Molly (Kate Hudson), when he crashes at their lovely home.

I'll leave it for the viewer to discover exactly what Dupree does, because his actions are part of the slow buildup the film takes in sketching this guy not as mean-spirited or deliberately selfish but as a sensitive soul who simply has no radar for the sensitivities of others. But that's part of why Dillon's line "You're not that lovable" is so refreshing and unexpected.

It's like this: Dillon delivers the line with a lot more tenderness and exasperation than you might expect, if you're expecting a cruel and spiteful movie. It's not a punch line. This isn't Click, which is thematically quite similar to Dupree: Adam Sandler has his magical universal remote control to teach him that ya gotta slow down and smell the roses, and that comes across as trite and obvious.

Dillon's Carl increasingly a workaholic and in a constant battle of wills with his new father-in-law (Michael Douglas), who is also his boss has his maddeningly free-spirited pal Dupree to impart the same idea, and here it's warm and natural and organic.

What first-time screenwriter Mike Le Sieur and directors Anthony and Joe Russo have made, in fact, is Click for grownups: There are no fart jokes here, no potty-mouthed kids wise-assing their elders, no fat suits, no pratfalls.

Which isn't to say that there isn't physical comedy there is. Carl has a moment in which the rage and resentment that have been seething inside him finally explode. It's way funnier than anything in Click because his anger truly engenders our sympathy.

Which isn't to say that there isn't toilet humor there is. But it's of the supportive, I-feel-your-pain, laughing-with kind, not the brutal laughing-at kind.

Which isn't to say that there isn't sexual humor there is. It represents genuine adult frustration and desire, not juvenile discomfort with the whole thing.

But what will persuade me to actually fall in love with you, You, Me and Dupree, is that, in the end, you begin to rehabilitate the "slacker" epithet Generation X has been slandered with. Randy Dupree ain't a bad guy; he's merely differently philosophied, and his philosophy, you insist, in your uniquely goofball way, is one worth listening to.

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