It’s both a wonder and a shame that a movie like Dude, Where’s My Car could get made, and if nothing else, it shows how far society has come in the last 18 years. Not much about it has aged well, especially not the rampant homophobia, misogyny and racism, and that’s all after the 2000 movie scored a mere 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I saw how it fares today for you readers, and I feel like you all owe me a drink now.
(Welcome back to Jalopnik Movie Club, where we take a look at cars in movies and movies about cars, and you write in with all of your hot takes. This week, we’re reviewing Dude, Where’s My Car?, a movie about )
Jalopnik Movie Club is finally back from what ended up being an unplanned month-long hiatus, in part because I traveled to drive the new Hyundai Veloster earlier this month and then took a brief vacation, and in part because I somehow knew I just did not want to make myself sit through Dude, Where’s My Car.
Though I had never seen it before and didn’t realize just how bad it was, something about this stoner comedy was keeping me at bay, and I really regret picking it for us all to review. I don’t have much to say about it, mostly because it held almost zero entertainment value for me and I only finished it because it’s my job.
Dude, Where’s My Car stars Ashton Kutcher as Jesse and Seann William Scott as Chester, two aimless, stoned X-er dipshits trying to find Jesse’s car after a night of partying they don’t remember.
They aim to find said missing car, which is missing because they can’t remember the night before, and then get anniversary gifts for their girlfriends, two twin sisters, and then hopefully have sex with them. That’s... it. There’s not a lot to this one.
They’re also shitty to everyone they encounter. On their journey to find the missing car, they end up in a strip club with a trans stripper who becomes the butt of every conceivable joke. They rip on Asian people with the infamous “And then?” drive-thru skit.
As the guys hop spot to spot trying to piece back together the previous night, they discover they’re entangled in an intergalactic effort to find a device called the Continuum Transfunctioner, with three different groups looking for it—a band of self-proclaimed “super hot chicks” that use their looks to persuade earthlings to help them, two blonde and buff aliens in leather clothing, and a group of nerds who want the device so that the aliens will like them.
The bit of the “super hot chicks” offering “erotic pleasure” in exchange for the device, the scene where one of them transforms into a giant woman wearing a skirt where a kid jokes “I wanna go on that ride” to his dad, who agrees, and the later scene when the two guys give their girlfriends the alien necklaces, which causes their breasts to grow, are so incredibly disgusting and uncomfortable.
I’m embarrassed even trying to describe what’s wrong with this movie. What sort of person enjoys this? And Jennifer Garner’s in it? Girl, what were you thinking? This is her worst movie by far, and she was in the Daredevil movie. At least those Capitol One commercials have some dignity.
In what world was any of this funny? Where does an idea like this come from, and better yet, where does it find enough money to actually become a movie that gets released? I don’t believe it has the capacity to be entertaining in any state of mind. It’s a disgrace to stoner movies, and that’s already such a low bar.
The only relatable aspects of Dude, Where’s My Car is the group of nerds that believe aliens will like them and help them leave this lame planet, and the cars like the Mercedes SL, the Citroën wagon they drive around in briefly, and the discovery of said missing car, a Renault Le Car. I’m so sorry for putting everyone through this.
That’s all from me, now let’s hear from those of you that emailed with your thoughts, opinions and hot takes about Dude, Where’s My Car?:
Ugh, this movie.
I remember seeing this when it was new, although I shouldn’t for more than one reason. I saw this movie with my best friend and his girlfriend, who was also a good friend at the time. Anyway, we thought it’d be a fun stoner flick, which aligned with our interests pretty well back then, so we piled into her car and hit the local dollar theater. We parked in a dark, fairly secluded corner of the lot and proceeded to hotbox her Accord by firing up two fat hooters simultaneously. I mean some real chongers here. Instead of “puff, puff, pass,” it was “puff, pass, puff, pass, catch your breath, repeat.” That thing must’ve looked like Spicoli’s van when we stumbled out of it.
We were so ripped a shopping list would’ve been hilarious. But I don’t think any of us laughed during the entire movie. We would’ve walked out had any of us been sober enough to drive, but none of us were, so we just kinda sat through it. We had only paid a dollar each to see it, and still felt ripped off.
So, yeah. Not a great movie.
In this movie we see the following: A light blue Citroen DS Wagon, a bright red Ford F-150 SVT Lightning, and a faded yellow Renault LeCar with a green drivers door.
Please Google the images of the vehicles above. If you haven’t watched this, DON’T. I suffered so you don’t have to.
PS: If this movie were released today it would be utterly crucified, particularly by the LGBT community via media.
Dude, sweet, and then, shibby: F
Searching for a car ≠ car movie: F
Whereas I discover why that phrase is so popular.
Having never watched this film around the time it came out nor really coming across it on cable television, I was keen to find out what the big deal was and why the title stands the test of time as a “thing.” Around the early 2000s even without watching this movie, I knew if I was with a group of friends walking back to our ride from the mall or a field trip all I had to do was put on a Californian-ish accent and say, “Dude, where’s my car?” and I’d get one or two laughs. Everyone got it whether they saw the movie or not. Everyone watched bad movies back then, how else were we to know NOT to watch them besides word of mouth or the newspaper?
Finally watching the movie, it was a whole bunch of meh from me. There were a few funny scenes that got a couple of sharp exhalations from my nose like their running “and thens” in the drive-thru for Chinese food or how the director really milked the trope of men’s fascination with breasts. Overall, I feel like I should’ve set up my bike in front of my laptop and at least got some exercise in.
Perhaps, if I take this movie in the context of when it debuted, it makes sense. Gore lost by a hair and people lost a bunch of money investing in this thing called the Internet. Gloomy times. Maybe parents schlepping their teenagers to the movies for 83 minutes was just what they needed to give them enough time to review where their kid’s college funds would come from.
But I get the lasting power of this phrase. Maybe it’s seeing a resurgence because, like all things 2000s, it’s reached peak nostalgia and it’s time to cash in. People will always have to find where they parked and I hope someone mutters this phrase ala Ashton Kutcher every once in a while.
Thank god it’s over.
And that wraps it up for this week’s Jalopnik Movie Club review! Thank you to everyone who wrote in with their takes, which I encourage you all to do for next week!
Speaking of next week, we’ll be cleansing the palate and reviewing 1987's Robocop, so be sure to get it watched and collect your thoughts, and write in with your opinions and hot takes to justin at jalopnik dot com.
In the meantime, sound off below about the good and bad of Dude, Where’s My Car? and all of its disgusting, regrettable moments, and see you all next week!