Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000) — The nadir of stupid buddy flicks

“I’ve always wondered what a fridge full of pudding would look like.”

Justin’s rating: If only, for once, movies DIDN’T mirror my life.

Justin’s review: Let’s spend a brief speculative moment retracing the history of stupid buddy movies. There used to be a glorious era (my code word for “The ’80s”) when all it took to cast a buddy flick was to have two stupid and somewhat funny guys who were into rock and roll (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, continuing on to Wayne’s World). But by the time we got to Pauly Shore in Bio-Dome, something had gone terribly wrong with the genre.

Now there had to be an excuse WHY the buddy guys were stupid, and that evil drug caffeine, no, wait, marijuana was to blame. Thus, Idle Hands and Dude, Where’s My Car?, where weed makes all cool and right with the world. I enjoy the “dumb guys rule all” mentality, because it’s nice to see former high school friends getting work these days. I just wish that we could just accept that some people are naturally dumb, and don’t have to fall on the crutch of doobies.

That all said and put aside, I think Dude, Where’s My Car? is somewhat of a low-rent masterpiece of late 20th century comedic filmmaking. It’s very strange and very bizarre and very ostrich-filled. Two roommates Jesse (Ashton Kutcher, from That ’70s Show) and Chester (Seann William Scott, from every teen movie that’s came out between 1999 and 2008) wake up with a vague notion that something big happened last night, but they aren’t quite sure what. Only when they discover their car is missing do events send them on a path that involves some odd hot chicks and a fascination with modern poetry. Well, maybe not the poetry bit.

Dude is an easy movie to get into, as long as you have an affinity for Three Stooges-type humor and a high threshold for people saying “dude” and “sweet” and (my personal favorite) “shibby” a lot. The whole fun is not just seeing Chester and Jesse come across evidence from their past night (such as being very popular in an exotic dance club or having a few hundred thousand dollars in a briefcase), but in realizing that these wacky events have a purpose to the plot. Everything is stacked up like a mystery novel, and only at the end do we see that everything — and nothing — has made complete sense as the pieces are put together. I also give props to Dude for keeping the raunch down to a PG-13 rating, which means a lot of the Scary Movie type jokes are toned down, and a lot more thought went into making the jokes (particularly running gags, which dominate this film) more funny.

I want to note that unless I go to the theater with friends, I *hate* having people sit in the chair right next to me. Need the laughing space, I do. A couple teenage girls and their mom needed to do that right as the movie began, and I laughed a lot more than they did. Maybe my loud donkey braying scared them into submission, but I don’t feel sorry in the least.

DnaError’s rating: Major shibby

DnaError’s review: If nothing else, this movie gets points in my book for being the type of bat-guano bizzarity normally only found in feverish, drug-induced trips augmented by heaps of bad chili. The combination of Cheech and Chong and Science Fiction (you heard me) creates an absurdist, almost Douglas Adamsy environment…anything goes, and DOES goes.

But, aside from all of that, Dude, Where’s My Car? is FUNNY. While not as satirically witty as a Douglas Adams novel, it has the shame wacky, kooky, off-the-wall and totally insane sprit that makes it destined to become a Mutant Classic. In this movie, it’s totally natural to have violent ostracizes, “totally helpful Nordic gay guys,” and yes, a caged Andy Dick.

Not all the jokes work, but there are a lot of them, and the ones that do land (ALA, the now infamous “Dude” and “Sweet” scene) are as ageless as Abbot and Castelloian hijinks. If your tolerance for E.S. (Extreme silliness) is low, stay away (but, if you don’t like silly or bizarre movies, what are you doing here?). Otherwise, enjoy Dude as a colorful, gleeful stupid and pot-smoke hazed Shibby feast that makes this movie a cult-classic-in training.

Andie’s rating: I’m not a Mutant Reviewer, I’m a Hot Chick

Andie’s review: Okay, the only reason I’ve even seen this sorry excuse for cinema is because the night we were all going to the movies, it was just me and about 10 guys. I wanted to go see What Women Want and the rest of the group wanted to see this piece of trash and I got outvoted. It definitely was not worth paying $6 to see and I’m pretty sure I’d rather jump naked into a swimming pool filled with double-edged razor blades than see it again.

That being said, it did have its moments. First off, I love the two main actors a lot but mostly because I find them very attractive. I thought it as great when they made out, that made me laugh really hard. Especially because all the guys I was with looked very uncomfortable. I also thought Andy Dick was really funny as the guy in the cage and I loved the roving band of Hot Chicks. I’m thinking about staring one of those up for the campus of Truman State. Oh and the bit with the ostriches was hysterical. I laughed so hard because Jesse kept insisting they were llamas.

I also did really like the way the plot all tied together in the end. The thing with asking the space guys what they got on the last hole of mini-golf and how Jesse and Chester knew they got a hole in one because of all the pudding was a cool little tie in at the end. I also thought the nerdy people in the van and all wrapped in bubble wrap were hysterical. One of the nerdy guys used to be a character called Donkey Lips on this show called Salute Your Shorts on Nickelodeon. It made me harken back to the days of Saved by the Bell, Salute Your Shorts, and Hey Dude.

But overall, it was pretty bad. After I saw it, if someone asked me how it was I’d say, “Well if you ask me if it was good, I’ll say no. If you ask me if it was funny, I’ll say yes.” I guess if you have nothing better to do on a Friday night than clip your toenails and grout the tub, this wouldn’t be a bad rental.

PoolMan’s rating: What, you’ve never been approached by killer ostriches?

PoolMan’s review: Let me begin by saying this: I have a bad memory. Seriously. I recently purchased a handheld PDA primarily for the reason that I’m so tired of being asked whether I’m ready to go, and I don’t have any idea where the “going” will end up. So a movie all about two goofs who forget everything that happened to them the night before the story begins, forcing them to repeatedly fake those “oh yeah…. sure… we remember” faces over and over again was something I could definitely identify with.

A lot’s already been said, pro and con, for Dude, Where’s My Car? Suffice it to say, despite the threat of Andie throwing pink donuts at me, I side with the majority. I liked this flick a lot. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. As dumb buddy movies go, this one rocks. An internal battle is currently raging in my brain as to whether to boot Bill and Ted out of their present number one spot, if for no other reason than the blond guy in this flick is likely to get work again. (Sorry Alex Winters, Esquire!) There are some damn memorable back characters too (the hot chicks rate, as do the nordic spacemen, if for no other reason than Deus Ex flashbacks).

I know when the trailers came out, I was convinced I didn’t want to see that guy on That ’70s Show have his own entire story, but having finally caved to my fellow Mutants’ reviews, I’m pleasantly surprised to see that he can actually carry the show. The whole thing’s funny, without resorting to too much of the weak garbage that a lot of “comedies” are resorting to lately (they use blind kids for gags, but NOT at the expense of the kids themselves. Heck, one young boy gets to cop a nice looooooong feel for his troubles… take that, Very Bad Things!).

This flick’s got Mutant Reviewers written all over it, and I imagine it’ll be screened the next time we happen to be at the office together. Do yourself a favour, go shibby.

Didja notice?

  • There are lots of deleted scenes and outtakes, some of which can be seen as the credits roll at the end. At the end of the credits we hear “And then?”
  • Everyone needs pudding!
  • All I ever needed to know I learned from the Discovery Channel
  • Kirsty Swanson, ex-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in a bit role
  • Data (Brent Spiner) likes his flightless birds!
  • The opening of this flick claims that it is “based on actual events.”
  • All of the people/things in the opening credits refer to the plot (in the order they’re shown)
  • Andrew the ape
  • Guy who lives in the closet
  • Chinese Foooooood
  • “Let it go” Indiana Jones parody
  • Trippy scene transitions
  • Super Hot Giant Alien
  • That recurring, whistling bird sound in the background? That’s a loon. Don’t bother arguing, I’m Canadian.
  • The return of the dumbass jocks! I thought we’d seen the last of them!
  • Jurassic ostriches?
  • Dogs CAN see colours!

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