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HD DVD Review: You, Me, and Dupree

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With an identity crisis always pushing it forward, You, Me, and Dupree is inconsistently funny. At times it’s a hard drama, over the top goofy comedy, and then a basic relationship tale. It feels disjointed, as scenes fail to flow together, yet there’s still enough material here to laugh at.

Owen Wilson is the star here, playing the lovable Dupree, the down on his luck slacker. Matt Dillion plays Carl, his best friend. Carl’s new wife is played by a gorgeous Kate Hudson, generally taking the role of the sympathizer.

Dupree lands on hard times, and moves in with Carl for what should be a brief period. This sets off the expected conflicts, especially as Dupree attempts to relive his younger days. Laughs take a long time to develop, and are spaced wide apart. The brief payoff is usually brief, though enough to carry the film until its next event.

This is a movie at its best when Owen Wilson is allowed to take over. Carl ends up overloaded at work, and this creates a separate conflict that simply isn’t that entertaining to watch in either a comedic or dramatic way. These scenes, even though Michael Douglas handles the role of Carl’s boss and in-law nicely, don’t feel like they fit. They give the film a hard edge, which negates some of the comedy.

It’s a shame too, as the simple premise of Wilson’s character hanging around, creating awkward situations, and attempting to find work would have been enough. Spinning into the relationship downfall and corporate power struggles leads it into a path that it can’t find a way out of. In the end, it feels as if the comedy is secondary.

That said, this is still worthwhile to watch, simply for Dupree’s antics. It’s a great character that you root for to finally find some success. You’ll need to sit through some uglier spots to find the fun, yet you’ll still come away happy.

The film comes to the hi-def format sporting some of the best, brightest, and overall stunning color you’ll find. The bold presentation never bleeds or lets compression show through. Black levels are rich and deep. This is a clear transfer, with average detail in close ups. A fine layer of grain can be visible during long shots.

Dupree does have some small surround potential. A sequence outdoors in a thunderstorm showcases both booming bass and nice positional audio as the rain lands. Other uses or movement through various channels are noticeable, if not forgettable.

Extras start off with Universal’s typical “U-Control” features that are available only while watching the movie via picture-in-picture windows. It’s not worth watching twice to simply see some photos and brief behind the scenes footage. Two commentaries offer different looks at the making of the movie, one from co-directors Tony and Joe Russo while the other comes from first time writer Michael LeSieur and producer Scott Stuber.

An alternate ending, with optional commentary, would have worked fine in the film, though it lacks the uplifting fun of the included one. Eight deleted scenes run six minutes, with little of note aside from Owen Wilson trying to board a flight. Four great minutes of outtakes are a must see, including a priceless prank played on Matt Dillon.

Dupree’s Memoirs is a digital scrapbook of his life. It’s a nice way to get a little deeper with the character, though most will see it after the film and it’s impact is then wasted. Finally, a spoof trailer plays the film up as a horror movie in funny fashion.

Sci-fi fans have a small treat to look for. Michael Douglas has a sword on his desk in his office. It’s the same style dragonhead from the TV series Highlander.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.