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"Dude, Where's My Car?"

Directed by Danny Leiner.
Written by Philip Stark. 
Starring Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott.
Release Year:  2000 
Review Date:  12/15/00 

Folks--

Dude!

Sweet!

Dude!

Sweet!!

Sorry, I am having flashbacks of last night's preview showing of the latest in a wave of teenage comedies, "Dude, Where's My Car?"  These movies have been coming out like wildfire, but surprisingly, most of the movies NOT starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. are actually pretty funny.  Now, if you are like me, you first saw the preview for this movie and thought it was going to be one of the dumbest movies of all time.  I have to admit, the preview has almost no laughs, and it even makes you question why the hell Seann William Scott ("American Pie") decided to star in another teen comedy.  Talk about typecast...

But, courtesy of Tricia "Hot" Ocampo, I came upon four free passes to see this movie last night, so I figured I had nothing to lose.  So, along with Dave Storm, Laikisha "rave" Jeffries and Jeannine Calandra, I rolled over to Mazza Gallery to check out the movie.  And, I must report bad news for all of you doubters:

The movie was actually pretty funny.

OKAY, MAN, THAT'S THE LAST STRAW.  YOU THOUGHT "THE PERFECT STORM" WAS OPENING WEEKEND--so wrong!--AND YOU THOUGHT THAT "CHARLIE'S ANGELS" SUCKED--relax a little!--AND NOW, YOU ARE ACTUALLY TRYING TO TELL ME THAT THIS PIECE OF S*** MOVIE IS "ACTUALLY PRETTY FUNNY"??

Listen, man, I'm serious!  Remember that feeling you had when you saw the preview for "Road Trip" and thought, yeah, that is gonna blow...and then, you saw the movie?  "Road Trip" was hilarious, and I can honestly say that everyone I know that actually saw the movie had at least something to laugh at, even if they felt pretty ashamed to admit it.

Well, "Dude, Where's My Car?" is no different.  Sure, the movie has almost no story:  Jesse (Ashton Kutcher, "That 70s Show") and Chester (Scott) are two pot-smoking teenagers that start the movie waking up from a bad-ass drinking binge and no memory of what happened the night before.  They do remember--okay, they are reminded--that their twin sister girlfriends are looking for their one-year anniversary gifts from the boys, so Jesse and Chester walk out of their house to get the gifts from Jesse's car.  Unfortunately, Jesse's car is nowhere to be found...so, the guys set off looking for the vehicle for the rest of the film.  What happens on the way is so ridiculous and so random that the movie plays like a sketch comedy.  Of course, some of it is pretty funny.

Kutcher is pretty good in this film; this doesn't seem to be too much of a stretch given that many of his lines are no longer than "dude!" but he and Scott create some great chemistry as they stumble from scene to scene.  By the time they are staring down Fabio (in a cameo) during a hilarious drag-racing sequence mid-film, you either love these guys or you don't...and, admittedly, I did.  Scott is good here, but was head-and-shoulders better in both of his previous films.  He is clearly playing Dee Dee Mccall to Fred Dryer's Hunter...if you, ahem, know what I mean.  The rest of the cast is interjected very sporadically throughout, but good work comes from the film's cameos by Fabio, Brent Spiner and Andy Dick...not to mention Kristy Swanson, who I swore was out of the film world.  She looks no older than 25 in this film, and I thought for sure she was a woman of 40.

The highlights of Jesse & Chester's adventure here include a pot-smoking dog, the "Bust a Move"/Young MC video sequence and a trip to the Chinese Fooood drive-thru.  These scenes are hilarious...but, just as many gags fall short or are just plain dumb.  The good usually outweighs the bad...but, there is a noticeable lull about 3/4 of the way through the 85-minute film that seals its mediocre fate.  By the time a set of crazed ostriches attack the unsuspecting boys, you are probably shaking your head wondering where some of the funny stuff went.

But, a decent ending and some decent outtakes level off the movie and it leaves a "Dude!  Not bad...let's get some McDonald's!" taste in your mouth.  So, we did.

Rating:  Matinee

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09