Dude, Where's My Car?
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the female characters are all either bubbleheads or strippers (or women who otherwise openly exploit their sexuality). Black and Asian characters are stereotypically depicted. A stripper is revealed to be a transsexual. An old lady uses the f-word in one scene. While not actually depicted, Jesse and Chester's regular use of alcohol and drugs is a pivotal part of the plot. They also steal the pizzas they're supposed to be delivering for their job. Jesse and Chester visit a strip bar where one of the girls talks about a lap dance they shared the previous night. Jesse gets to place his hand on a woman's bosom. Cartoonish beatings from a group of bad guys. Jesse and Chester bean their captors with a fire extinguisher.
What's the story?
DUDE WHERE'S MY CAR begins when dopey duo Jesse (Ashton Kutcher) and Chester (Seann William Scott) regain consciousness after a wild night of partying and realize they have no idea where Jesse's car is. Besides the all-important need for wheels, the guys have to find the car because that's where they've left their anniversary presents for their girlfriends, twins Wilma (Marla Sokoloff) and Wanda (Jennifer Garner). Chester and Jesse's search for the car turns into an adventure involving aliens, massive amounts of pudding, strippers, and more.
Is it any good?
Dude, Where's My Car is a sloppy, unappealing comedy that falls somewhere between Cheech & Chong and Bill & Ted. It's a prime example of the kind of comedy that is marketed to teenagers even though it's not appropriate for them. As concocted by filmmakers who come from TV shows like South Park and That 70s Show, it's as raunchy as possible without getting an R rating: profanity is minimal, women are treated in an extremely sexist way but there's no actual nudity, and drugs are a part of the plot but no one's shown using them.
The result is a movie that tacitly endorses substance abuse: the fact that Jesse and Chester were so "wasted" that they have no idea what they did the previous night is one that amuses rather than worries them. The roughly assembled script offers a few funny moments, but mostly the movie features ideas that might have been funny had they been developed a little, or at all. Dude isn't as gross as some other comedies popular with young viewers (American Pie, Scary Movie, but that's hardly a recommendation.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether they find comedies like this one funny or not. Families can also talk about Jesse and Chester as one-dimensional characters, with little on their minds besides partying and women.