You, Me and Dupree (12A) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

What's not to love about Owen Wilson playing cuckoo-in-the-nest of his newlywed friends Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson? Only this: his sleepy-eyed slacker routine is starting to make him look like a one-trick pony. A fine trick, certainly, but it's showing signs of fatigue.

Here he plays Dupree, a good-for-nothing layabout. Homeless and jobless, he's invited to stay on the couch of his pal Carl (Dillon), who's already got problems coping with toxic levels of provocation from his boss and father-in-law (Michael Douglas), a ruthless property tycoon. Sure enough, Dupree proves himself the house guest from hell, flooding the loo, flashing his private parts and almost burning down the house.

The film is kept afloat on a raft of good jokes, daft slapstick and the ambiguity of Dupree himself: is he actually trying to sabotage Carl's marriage by cosying up to his missus (Hudson)? That becomes a problem in the script, as Dupree turns out, quite suddenly, to be a cow-eyed romantic, blubbing through Roman Holiday, cooking up a Tuscan feast in the kitchen and writing lovesick poetry. It also rather misjudges our sympathy for Dupree: Wilson invests him with his trademark goofball charm, yet there's no getting round the fact he's a real pain. Or, as his long-suffering pal puts it, "You're not that loveable." He has a point.

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