[Screen It]

"DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR?"
(2000) (Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott) (PG-13)

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QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: As they encounter various odd strangers who know them and situations they don't recall due to previously being wasted, two bumbling dudes try to figure out what happened the night before that resulted in all of that as well as them misplacing their car.
PLOT:
Jesse (ASHTON KUTCHER) and Chester (SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT) are two unassuming dudes who were so wasted the night before that they can't remember anything that happened. That's bad, because now Jesse's car is missing, and in it are their one-year anniversary gifts for their girlfriends, Wanda (JENNIFER GARNER) and Wilma (MARLA SOKOLOFF). All they know is that they have a refrigerator stocked full of pudding and that their girlfriends are upset about how their party trashed their house.

As they set out to find their car and make amends with Wanda and Wilma, things progressively go from strange to worse. Christie Boner (KRISTY SWANSON), a gorgeous babe who normally wouldn't give them the time of day, is suddenly quite friendly with Jesse, a point that doesn't sit well with her jock boyfriend, Tommy (CHARLIE O'CONNELL).

A visit to their friend, Nelson (DAVID HERMAN), and his pot-smoking dog, doesn't do a lot of good, but soon the dudes begin to piece together what happened. As they do so, they begin to encounter various people from the night before, such as Tania (TERESSA TUNNEY), a transsexual who entrusted them with a suitcase full of money who now wants it back.

They also have run-ins with a bunch of geeks led by Zoltan (HAL SPARKS) as well as a series of both male and female aliens who are looking for something called a Continuum Transfunctioner that they believe the dudes possess. As Jesse and Chester deal with those and other odd encounters with various people, they hope to find their car and their gifts for their girlfriends, all while saving the universe from complete destruction.

OUR TAKE: 1.5 out of 10
Duuude, I was like watching this reviewer dude doing his review of this sweet new movie, "Dude, Where's My Car," and when he got up and left, I came over to tell you what I thought. Dude, it was so cool. You see, there are, like, these two dudes who were so wasted last night that they can't remember what happened and they lost their car. Excellent. And then they find all of this pudding in their 'fridge and you know what that's like.

So, they go looking for it and - oh, I forgot, there's the hilarious bit where this dude comes out of the closet and pees in their plant. And the dudes throw a pizza onto the ceiling so their boss can't see it, and then it almost falls down. Ah, dude, that was great! Anyway, then some old lady runs one of them over with her car and uses the "f" word. That was hilarious.

Then - dude, you won't believe this - they go see this other dude who has a dog that smokes pot from a pipe and gets stoned. I don't know what that had to do with the movie, but it was funny as hell, man. Then it gets better. First, they run into this bodacious chick and her last name is "boner," get it? Boner. Heh-heh. And she's, like, all hot for one of the dudes and says all she remembers about their car is the backseat. Get it? Excellent.

Then they go to a strip club where all these babes are dancing around in bikinis and pouring water onto their T-shirts. And then this one babe turns out to be a dude after he kissed one of the main dudes. Ah, dude, that was, like gross. They then run into these geeks looking for something - I can't remember what it was called - and then some babe aliens and one of them puts this whole Popsicle in her mouth and I was like "whoa, dude." Then they tell some jokes about "Uranus" cuz it sounds like, well, you know.

But dude, the weird thing was that the theater was filled with a whole bunch of other dudes and dudettes just like us, but not too many people were laughing. I don't know why, cuz after that, some blind kid hits a dude in the crotch with a bat, some big birds - I think they were emus or something - chase them around, and one of the main dudes said he had to take a dump or something like that. Man, it was hilarious.

And then -- Uh-oh, that dude reviewer's coming back, so I gotta run. Go see the movie, dudes, it's so sweeeeeet…

[Sound of surprised critic discovering dude at his computer, dude then making excuses about what he's doing, and dude then being removed from the premises]

Sorry about that - you leave for a minute and you never know who's going to sit down at the computer. Well, I thought about deleting what the "dude" wrote, but in his own "unique" style, he pretty much summed up the picture. If the details he described seem funny to you, you might want to seek professional help if you're over the age of fifteen. On the other hand, I suppose you could watch this film, but you'll do so at your own risk since this flick could quite possibly reduce your IQ by several points and bore you silly in the process.

Now, before you dudes write in and chastise me as being some boring and over-the-hill, stick in the mud critic, I must point out - as I've done before - that I'm not above dumb and tasteless humor. Like all other genres, such films have their time and place, and if done with just the right touch, they can often be quite funny and occasionally even hilarious, as was the case with "Dumb & Dumber" and the "Wayne's World" flicks.

Unfortunately, this isn't one of those films. Whereas the similarly dimwitted characters Bill & Ted - after whom these dudes are presumably molded along with the above - had some fun adventures traveling through time and then to Hell in their two films, meeting historical characters designed to showcase how stupid, but lovable the two actually were, the characters here are just dumb. They're even dumber for showing up in this unimaginative and lame comedy that reminds one of nothing short of a sub-par "Beavis and Butthead" rip-off.

As directed by Danny Leiner (TV's "Freaks and Geeks") and written by Philip Stark (TV's "That '70s Show") -- the latter of whom states that the story and characters were inspired by he and his friends, God help them all - the film lurches and stumbles forward as it moves from one lame and stupid skit-like moment to the next.

Targeted directly at older prepubescent males and younger teens, the film - despite an awkward and inane sci-fi subplot that comes out of nowhere - doesn't contain a story structure to sustain the dumb antics of its leading duo. That is, unless you consider the chance to ogle various scantily clad women or the sight of one of the dudes being allowed to grope actress Kristy Swanson's clothed breast as literary greatness.

The result is a tedious exercise in patience, and while the film clocks in at somewhere under the ninety-minute mark, it felt like more like several hours of cinematic torture. To be fair, the movie did manage to elicit a chuckle or two from both me and other viewers - although anyone fitting a post-adolescent description would probably be embarrassed to admit as much.

In addition, the two main dudes -- played by Ashton Kutcher ("Down to You," TV's "That '70s Show") and Seann William Scott ("Road Trip," "American Pie") - have a slightly charming - at least in a stupid way - demeanor about them. As a result, their overall inanity is at least a tiny bit easier to swallow. Unfortunately, the "creative" forces behind the film have given them absolutely nothing with which to work, and thus any potential for fun with them is pretty much squandered.

Supporting performances, including that of the girlfriend roles played by Jennifer Garner ("Mr. Magoo," "Deconstructing Harry") and Marla Sokoloff ("Whatever It Takes," TV's "The Practice"), are instantly forgettable, which is probably exactly what the performers will hope when future prospective filmmakers look back at their body of work.

Proving that being dumb - or at least making that condition entertaining from a cinematic experience - actually takes some smarts, "Dude, Where's My Car" might play okay to its target viewers, but will be lost on everyone else just as easily as these dudes misplaced their wheels. The film rates as a 1.5 out of 10.




Reviewed December 15, 2000 / Posted December 16, 2000


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