Monday, January 01, 2007

You, Me and Dupree

2006, US, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo

I quite enjoyed the Russo brothers' previous outing, Welcome to Collinwood; although it wasn't overwhelmingly original, the vein of daffy humour and the gritty sense of their home city, Cleveland, were appealing. Here, though, their run-down version of Cleveland has been exchanged for flat, sunny locations in a nondescript Southern Californian town, and the material is similarly bland. Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson are both likeable performers, in quite different ways, but too often they're trapped in films like this, which pass the time and are then disposed of. Although more obviously comical than The Break-Up, released around the same time, the film shares some of that movie's problematic tone: at times it attempts to be more consciously dramatic but the script isn't up to the task. Large chunks of the running time are spent sketching in Matt Dillon's workplace problems - in many ways, the film isn't about growing up but about reconciling work and life - and that slows the film right down, only for things to perk up again when Wilson or Hudson are onscreen (why Hudson doesn't put the moves on dopey-but-fun Dupree rather than her weak, workaholic hubby is beyond me).

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States