Molly and Carl Peterson are happy newlyweds who decide to do a good turn for one of Carl's childhood friends. Randy Dupree was Carl's best man, but he lost his job for taking time off to attend the wedding. Without the job, he defaults on his apartment and car. What else is there for the couple to do but take in Dupree "just for a couple of nights" until he can get back on his feet?
Ah, but Dupree is the walking definition of irresponsible and immature. "A couple of nights" stretches into a few weeks. In the meantime, he manages to set various parts of the Peterson house on fire, flood a bathroom and cause other assorted mayhem.
Carl, who works at a land-development company, is under tremendous pressure from his boss, Mr. Thompson, who also happens to be his brand-new father-in-law. That would be the same father-in-law and boss who's underwhelmed by his daughter's choice of husband.
Between the tension caused by Dupree's presence and pressure from "Dad," the Peterson marriage is soon in trouble. Something—or someone—has to go. It's like they say, two's company, but Dupree's a crowd.
Despite her fury at the destruction Dupree has caused in her life, Molly shows compassion when she sees him sitting homeless in the pouring rain, and she invites him back into her house. In the end, Molly and Carl learn that trust and communication are keys to a good marriage, and Mr. Thompson learns to honor his daughter's life choices.
He's a walking tornado of mishaps and mayhem, but Dupree is also a big-hearted lunkhead without an ounce of malice or disingenuousness in his body. He's also key to getting Carl and Molly to see that they've been misjudging each other. As they make up, Molly says, "I know you and I love you. That's why we don't walk out on each other."
Dupree subscribes to a nebulous, New Agey worldview that has people as masters of their own destinies if only they can find their "-ness." (His speech of encouragement to Carl, for example, tells him he's lost his Carl-ness.) By the end of the movie, he's become a professional motivational speaker preaching that philosophy.
Dupree also makes passing references to "the Mother Ship" as his source of inspiration and wisdom, although another time he says, "You gotta thank the Big Man."
Rude, lewd and crude. Molly walks in on Dupree as he masturbates. Carl later makes japes about Dupree "starching his socks." For his part, Dupree walks in on Carl and Molly as they initiate sexual foreplay. When they complain, he says, "Hey, you're newlyweds. You're supposed to explore each other." Later, Dupree knocks on their bedroom door and apologizes for the interruption: "If you're humping, please stop."
Molly sets up a blind date between Dupree and the school librarian, Mandy. When Carl expresses skepticism, Molly says, "Mandy's a Mormon. She'd never get busy on the first date." Lo and behold, though, the newlyweds later walk in on a naked Dupree as he spreads melted butter on Mandy's bare leg. When Carl and Molly walk out in disgust, Dupree follows them outside wearing only two strategically placed pillows. (Molly later complains that Mandy is the "school slut" and says she's had sex with every man on the school faculty.)
Molly discovers Carl's secret stash of porn tapes, and we see a few of the covers which feature barely clad women. She forces a reluctant Carl to throw away the entire collection, whereupon Carl's friend Neil sneaks over and snatches the stash out of the garbage can. Dupree moans, "Is there anything worse than having to get rid of your porn collection?"
Molly wears a skimpy bathing suit in a few scenes (including a fantasy sequence in which she seduces Dupree), and in another the camera lingers on her backside in a tight pair of pants. She also wears a camisole and underwear during other bedroom segments. Dupree sleeps in the nude, and we see his naked backside. He also wears a barbequing apron that reads "Naked Fiesta" with pictures of naked mariachi players on it. Two strippers dressed in mock (and skimpy) police uniforms show up at the Petersons' front door, apparently called by Dupree. A drunk Neil passes out on a beach wearing only his underwear. Molly and Carl share a hotel room before their wedding.
Mr. Thompson subtly suggests that Carl get a vasectomy, and he hands him medical brochures. (We see anatomical drawings of the procedure.) Dupree adds, "No one gets near that part of my body unless it's a woman."
Dupree, riding a bike, is hit by a car and thrown against its windshield. (He's shaken up but basically unhurt.) He later accidentally sets Carl and Molly's living room on fire. Trying to sneak out of an upstairs bedroom, Dupree falls from the roof (it's played for laughs). Some neighborhood kids get into a fight, and one throws a baseball bat at another but misses. Mr. Thompson hits Carl in the head with a candlestick. Carl lunges over a table and attacks Dupree, hitting him and choking him with the same candlestick. The pair also crashes while trying to skateboard on a high ramp.
Dupree gets in a fight with a building security guard and throws a bike at him. The guard swings a truncheon and sprays mace several times but misses. Later, Dupree crashes through a false ceiling onto a conference table below. After one of his mishaps, he rolls on the ground, holding his groin.
Crude or Profane Language
One use of the f-word and nearly 10 s-words. Other crudities such as "a--," "h---" and "d--n" make frequent appearances. God's name is abused eight times (three times combined with "d--n") and Jesus' once. Carl uses a crude slang term for male genitals. A bar patron makes an obscene gesture.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Carl and friends guzzle shots of hard liquor at the wedding reception. Other guests drink wine, champagne or other alcoholic beverages. Carl often seeks comfort in a stiff drink of whiskey, and at one point he drinks directly from the bottle. He gives Dupree a gift of a whiskey flask for being his best man. The newlywed and his friends drink beer while watching football on TV. Molly tells Carl, "Let's get some margaritas." Later, they're both a little tipsy as Carl drives home. A few of their meals include wine.
Neil is glad that his breath reeks of beer. That way, he says, "My wife won't smell the cigarettes—or weed." He lies down on the bar and asks the bartender to serve him a "Flaming Tornado," which involves several types of booze, matches and a funnel. (We later see a large flame erupt in Neil's vicinity.) Neil frequently smokes cigarettes, and Carl smokes a celebratory cigar.
Other Negative Elements
We're "treated" to literal bathroom humor as Dupree barges into Carl and Molly's master bathroom in a hurry. (He's already clogged the downstairs toilet.) In the morning, we see Molly gagging as she tries to unclog a toilet.
There's a subtle but underlying message throughout this movie that wives are inherently killjoys and that we just need to let boys be boys.
I'm going to set up a one-keystroke macro on my computer that says, "This could have been a great movie if only ..." In this case, You, Me and Dupree has some great lessons on love, friendship, trust and the need for husbands and wives to communicate. And the story premise is rife with opportunities for genuine, clean laughs. However, any hint of potential innocence gets immediately and routinely buried under an avalanche of juvenile and crude sexual "humor," even crasser bathroom humor and a pile of foul language. Clearly Jesus' desire for us to care for the homeless has no bearing here. Dupree is one houseguest who belongs nowhere near your family.