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Dude, Where's My Car? (August 3/01)

If you rent Dude, Where's My Car? and actually find yourself disappointed with what it ends up being (a dumb comedy)…well, what exactly were you expecting from a movie called Dude, Where's My Car?

Ashton Kutcher stars as Jesse, while Seann William Scott stars as his best bud Chester - they're a couple of idiots, plain and simple. The movie opens after a particularly harsh night of partying - they can't remember a thing - and Jesse's car is missing (hence the title). The rest of the film follows their various misadventures as they attempt to recover the lost car, make up with their angry girlfriends, locate a missing alien device before the universe is destroyed (no, really) and avoid an irate transsexual stripper.

Dude, Where's My Car? runs a short 83-minutes and yet still feels long. Apart from one really funny sequence involving a Chinese food store, there aren't many laughs in the movie. And since you're not watching a flick like this for plot or character development, that translates into a lot of jokes just falling flat and uninspired hijinks. But the movie is always entertaining, buoyed by the two lead performances. Kutcher and particularly Scott embody these two morons with just the right amount of lovable stupidity and bull-headed determination.

But Dude, Where's My Car? would have been far more successful if the screenwriter hadn't felt it necessary to bog down the story with countless side-characters and bizarre subplots (the whole outer-space thing winds up taking control of the movie at about the one-hour mark). Kutcher and Scott are quite enjoyable when they're just being idiotic, so the movie really should have featured more scenes like the one in which they discover each other's tattoos (one says "dude" while the other says "sweet") and proceed to get into a fight over what they say. That was funny. The alien stuff was not.

out of