Summary Judgment: 'Dupree,' 'Little Man,' 'Edmond'
Slate contributor Mark Jordan Legan reviews what critics are saying about this weekend's major movie releases — You, Me and Dupree, Little Man and Edmond.
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
Maybe it would be fun to get away from the news and go see a good movie this weekend. We help you figure out which ones to see with our regular digest of what the critics are saying as compiled by the online magazine Slate.
Here's Mark Jordan Legan with Summary Judgment.
MARK JORDAN LEGAN reporting:
First up in wide release is the raunchy comedy, Little Man. From the makers of White Chicks comes the story of a pint-sized jewel thief who dresses as a baby to retrieve some stolen loot.
I swear, that's the plot of one of my favorite Little Rascal episodes.
Shawn and Marlon Wayans star.
(Soundbite of movie Little Man)
Mr. SHAWN WAYANS (Actor): (As Character) Then I guess we've got to find a way to sneak in.
(Soundbite of baby)
Unidentified Man (Actor): (As Character) They say they wanted a baby.
Mr. WAYANS: (As Character) No. I ain't dressing up like no baby.
LEGAN: The nation's critics pretty much throw out the jewel thief with the bath water. Even though the Philadelphia Inquirer admits, at least in spurts, Little Man provides some big laughs.
The Arizona Republic spanks, A comedy based on a single gag that's not very funny. Therefore it's exactly one joke short of being a one-joke film.
And Premiere magazine whines, A slight summer comedy with a tortured plot and predictable laughs.
Next up in limited release is Edmond. Adapted from the 1982 David Mamet play, William H. Macy stars as a man whose life is turned up upside down after visiting a fortune teller.
Julia Stiles also stars.
(Soundbite of movie, Edmond)
Mr. WILLIAM H. MACY (Actor): (As Edmond) I don't want to live this kind of life.
Ms. JULIA STILES (Actor): (As Character) What does that mean?
Mr. MACY: That I can't live this life.
Ms. STILES: You can't live this life.
Mr. MACY: Yes.
Ms. STILES: So you're leaving me?
LEGAN: The critics all praised the lead performance, but have problems with the presentation.
The New York Times says, Mr. Macy gives the nerviest screen performance of his career.
But The Hollywood Reporter warns, For hardcore Mamet fans only.
And the Village Voice finds Edmond, All sizzle and little meat.
And we close with the wide release romantic comedy, buddy comedy, You, Me, and Dupree.
Kate Hudson and Matt Dillon play a newly married couple who make the mistake of letting free spirit pal Owen Wilson move in with them just for a couple days.
Michael Douglas also stars
(Soundbite of movie, You, Me, and Dupree)
Mr. OWEN WILSON (Actor): (As Dupree) Hey, listen. Just to put your minds at ease, this is not a permanent situation, okay. I'm hitting the job trail. I'm going to hit it hard tomorrow. Wheels of change are in motion.
Mr. MATT DILLON (Actor): (As Character) Good. Good. That's a good attitude.
Mr. WILSON: (As Dupree) Despite what my ex-boss said, I'm not un-hirable.
LEGAN: The reviews want Dupree and the movie out by Sunday. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer calls it, Sporadically enjoyable but instantly forgettable.
The Hollywood Reporter yawns, The comedy is obvious and flat.
And the Washington Post makes an interesting prediction. Even though they call the film a mess, technically it's an abomination. Spiritually it's a void. But commercially? It will probably be a big hit.
So yeah. The movie also sounds topical. Lovable slacker houseguest who won't leave. I know. Take your lovable houseguest to see this movie. And while he's enjoying the wild antics of Dupree, you rush home and change the locks. I know it sounds harsh, but sometimes tough love is the only way to get through to a slacker. Well, that and a big bag of Cool Ranch corn chips. Mmmmm.
CHADWICK: Mark Jordan Legan is writer and slacker living in Los Angeles.
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