Neil Young’s Film Lounge – Dude, Where’s My Car?



US 2000
dir Danny Leiner
scr Philip Stark
cin Robert Stevens
stars Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott

Just in case the title doesn’t tell you all you need to know, how about these character names: Christie Boner, Jumpsuit Chick #5, Stripper #1, Super Chick, Dancer #8, and four Muscle Heads? Yes, this is yet another teen slacker comedy – but its also one of the best, mixing gross-out elements of American Pie and Road Trip with old-skool stoner traditions dating back to Cheech & Chong via Bill & Ted and Wayne & Garth.

Here we have a pair of likeable California morons, Jesse (Kutcher) & Chester (Scott). After prominent roles in Pie, Trip and Final Destination, Scott reigns as the mini-genres clown prince and, as usual, he’s the best thing about the picture. The duo wake up after a wild night of partying, totally unable to recall any of their shenanigans. Retracing their steps to find the titles missing auto, they meet various aliens, nerds, strippers, jumpsuit chicks, muscle heads, etc. along the way. Stupid, sexist nonsense? Definitely. But very funny, breezy, energetic, inoffensive nonsense, all the same.

2nd February 2001


Dude, Wheres My Car? opened the UK on Friday, February 9th, 2001, on 270 screens. Over the three-day weekend, Dude took a total of 943,442 behind only holdover smash What Women Want (2,510,000) for an average of 3,494. The weeks other new entries were The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle at #5 (average 2,056), Almost Famous at #6 (1,924), Remember The Titans at #9 (1,005). Dude was, of course, aggressively marketed, but so was Almost Famous which didn’t have to cope with the shit-storm of incomprehension that greeted Dudes arrival on our shores.

Positive reviews such as the one above were very thin on the ground, with Hotdog magazines reaction fairly typical. They sent four readers pushing thirty, at the very least, to judge by their photo who each gave the movie one star out of five, with the comments Not cool, Not funny, Boring, A big pile of poo, and Hmmm. This didn’t dissuade Dudes target teenage audience, of course, few of whom would take notice of critics. In this instance, they were spot on. Dude isn’t anything out of the ordinary but, unlike so many current releases it knows exactly what it wants do, and does it without any undue fuss. At a loose end one night in Bradford this week, I narrowed down my options to Dude, Wheres My Car and Unbreakable and only made my decision as I handed over my fiver

17th February 2001

by Neil Young