Dude, Where's My Car?
|Dude, Where's My Car?|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Danny Leiner|
|Produced by||Gil Netter|
|Written by||Philip Stark|
Seann William Scott
|Music by||David Kitay|
|Cinematography||Robert M. Stevens|
|Edited by||Kimberly Ray|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$73.2 million|
Dude, Where's My Car? is a 2000 American comedy film directed by Danny Leiner. The film stars Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott as two young men who find themselves unable to remember where they parked their vehicle after a night of recklessness. Supporting cast members include Kristy Swanson, Jennifer Garner, and Marla Sokoloff.
Though the film was panned by most critics, it was a box office success and has managed to achieve a cult status, partially from frequent airings on cable television. The film's title became a minor catch phrase, and was commonly reworked in various pop cultural contexts during the 2000s.
Jesse and Chester awaken with hangovers and no memory of the previous night. The television is on, showing an Animal Planet program about how animals use twigs and rocks as tools to get food. Their refrigerator is filled with containers of chocolate pudding, and the answering machine contains an angry message from their twin girlfriends Wilma and Wanda as to their whereabouts. They emerge from their home to find Jesse's car missing, and with it their girlfriends' one-year anniversary presents. This prompts Jesse to ask the film's titular question: "Dude, where's my car?"
Because the girls have promised them a "special treat", which Jesse and Chester take to mean sex, the men are desperate to retrieve their car. The duo begins retracing their steps in an attempt to discover where they left the car. Along the way, they encounter a transgender stripper, a belligerent speaker box operator at a Chinese restaurant's drive-through, discover two appropriately-worded tattoos on each other's backs, run into UFO cultists led by Zoltan, a Cantonese-speaking Chinese tailor, the Zen-minded Nelson and his cannabis-loving dog, the aggressive jock Tommy and his friends, a couple of hard-nosed police detectives, and a reclusive French ostrich farmer. They also meet two groups of aliens, one group being five gorgeous women, the other being two Norwegian men, searching for the "Continuum Transfunctioner"; a mysterious and powerful device, capable of destroying the universe, that the boys accidentally picked up last night.
In an arcade, they discover that the Continuum Transfunctioner was a Rubik's Cube that Chester has been working hard to solve, and eventually does (thus activating it). They are warned that once the five lights stop flashing, the universe will be destroyed.
Jesse and Chester must determine which of two sets of aliens is entitled to the device. One of the groups is there to protect the universe, the other is there to destroy it. Both claim to be the protectors of the universe, stating that they were with Jesse and Chester the previous night (which Jesse and Chester still cannot remember) and ask for the Transfunctioner. The two correctly choose the men, because when the men were asked what they did the night before, they correctly respond that they got a hole in one at the 18th hole at a miniature golf park, and won a lifetime supply of pudding. At the last second, they deactivate the Transfunctioner, saving the universe.
Balked, the five alien women merge to become a giantess played by Jodi Ann Paterson who swallows Tommy alive. The giantess then crawls out of the amusement center and chases Jesse and Chester. The cultists tell them to activate the Photon Accelerator Annihilation Beam on the Transfunctioner. However, the button that activates it is too far in to reach. At the last second, Chester remembers the nature show with the tool-using chimps and uses a straw to push the recessed button, thus destroying the alien. The protectors erase everyone's minds concerning the events and time is reversed to the beginning of the film. The duo recover the car, a Renault Le Car, which turned out to be behind a Mail Truck the whole time, and salvage their relationships and discover the special treat from the girls turns out to be matching knitted caps and scarves. The protectors leave a gift for their girlfriends (and, for the two men): Breast Enhancement Necklaces.
- Ashton Kutcher as Jesse Montgomery III
- Seann William Scott as Chester Greenburg
- Jennifer Garner as Wanda
- Marla Sokoloff as Wilma
- Kristy Swanson as Christie Boner
- David Herman as Nelson
- Hal Sparks as Zoltan
- Charlie O'Connell as Tommy
- John Toles-Bey as Mr. Pizzacoli
- James Vincent as Jeff
- Keone Young as Mr. Lee
- Brent Spiner as Pierre (uncredited)
- Andy Dick as Mark (uncredited)
Dude, Where's My Car? received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 18% based on 55 reviews with an average rating of 3.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The movie isn't funny, the plot is too thin, and the production values feel more like a TV sitcom than a movie." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 30 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale. The BBC Film review gave it 1 star, calling the film "a lame-brained travesty" and "intensely irritating" and Kutcher and Scott's routines "painfully unamusing". USA Today said: "Any civilization that can produce a movie this stupid probably deserves to be hit by famine and pestilence." The Chicago Tribune said: "At the end of 83 unmerciful minutes, audiences will be exclaiming, 'Dude, I can't believe I sat through that movie!?'" and the New York Post said that it was: "An almost chuckle-free mess, so amateurish and lame that the cast often has that embarrassed look you see on dogs given ridiculous haircuts." However, the New York News did praise the "surprisingly sweet-natured pairing" of Kutcher and Scott.
Despite the negative reviews, the film opened at #2 at the North American box office making US$13.8 million in its opening weekend behind What Women Want, which opened at the top spot with US$33 million. Its overall gross came to US$46 million off an estimated US$13 million budget.
The DVD was released on June 26, 2001 with 7 deleted and extended scenes, an audio commentary with Kutcher, Scott, and Leiner, a behind-the-scenes featurette, the music video for Grand Theft Audio's "Stoopid Ass", TV spots, and the theatrical trailer.
Dude, Where's My Car? is referenced widely in many different situations. Some examples are listed below.
In 2012, the Pittsburgh Pirates started using the "Zoltan" hand signal from the film as a way for players to congratulate their teammates after an accomplishment such as a home run or a double play. The habit started after the Pirates (in particular Neil Walker) were watching Dude, Where's My Car? in the visiting clubhouse at Turner Field in Atlanta during an April 2012 weekend series against the Atlanta Braves. After a Twitter campaign to encourage the "real" Zoltan to appear at a game, Hal Sparks flew to Pittsburgh on July 25, 2012 to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and was on hand to see the Pirates win 3–2 over his hometown team, the Chicago Cubs. Also there to support the team was Hal's girlfriend, Summer Soltis, whose family is from the area and are Pirates fans themselves. Despite picking up a cult following in Pittsburgh and helping the team contend in the playoff race well into September, the Pirates finished with a 79–83 record, extending their major North American professional sports record to 20 consecutive losing seasons.
A sequel titled Seriously Dude, Where's My Car? was in development for years, but never came to be. The first movie was a breakthrough role for Ashton Kutcher, allowing him to transition from That '70s Show to movie stardom. The sequel was scheduled to begin filming in 2003. Seann was interested in the sequel, but Kutcher shot the idea down before filming could begin.
- Dude, Where's My Car? (2000) - Box office / business
- "Dude, Where's My Car? (2000)". Box Office Mojo. 2002-08-28. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- Rotten Tomatoes. "Dude, Where's MyCar".
- Metacritic. "Dude, Where's My Car".
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
- BBC Films. "Dude, Where's My Car".
- New York News. "Dude, Where's My Car". Daily News.
- Dude, Where's My Car? (2000) - Alternate versions
- Majors, Dan (July 4, 2012). "Dude, what's the 'Z'? Pirates explain - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Majors, Dan (2012-07-26). "Actor who played Zoltan on hand for Pirates win". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Majors, Dan (July 4, 2012). "The Pirates believe in the power of Zoltan - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Dude, Where's My Car? at the Internet Movie Database
- Dude, Where's My Car? at AllMovie
- Dude, Where's My Car? at Box Office Mojo
- Dude, Where's My Car? at Rotten Tomatoes