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Three's a crowd

Movies | You, Me and Dupree defends marriage but still has fatal flaws

Issue: "Mayberry no more," July 29, 2006

You, Me and Dupree is a movie that most WORLD readers will not want to see for at least two reasons. Strike one: As critics have complained, it's sold as a comedy but the laughs are rare. Strike two: It's rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity, crude humor, language, and a drug reference.

Nevertheless, its depiction of marriage and maturity is a cut above the Hollywood average. The central character is a just-married young man played by Matt Dillon who doesn't know how to be a man. He's pulled one way by his best friend, a ne'er-do-well played by Owen Wilson, who's been in this role before: Hey, we're in our 30s but let's pretend we're still kids. He's pushed another way by a capitalist boss (and the father of the new bride) played by Michael Douglas, who's depicted that cliché many times before: I'll control your life and you'll like it because we'll make lots of money.

The pressure of having the homeless ne'er-do-well living in their new home gets to the bride, played with appropriate reserve by Kate Hudson. The pressure of working long hours for a soulless boss gets to the husband. Dillon's character could end up like one of his friends, henpecked and trying to find joy in pornography. Or he could end up divorced. Or he could strangle his former best friend. Or he could restore his marriage by standing up to tyranny and maturing beyond fecklessness.

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I'm not recommending this "comedy" because of the two strikes against it, but it's a positive sign that a major Hollywood production finds marriage worth fighting for, and growing up as something that's hard to do but still worth doing.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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