Despite all the reviews that told me to run run run away from ‘Drillbit Taylor’ – Owen Wilson’s first post-suicide-scare release about a homeless guy hired to be a bodyguard to some bullied high school freshmen – Owen Wilson can't do much wrong by me (And how much worse could it be than 'Marley & Me'??), so I was willing to give it a shot, especially as a mindless vacation night activity. Imagine my delight that the movie was actually enjoyable, amusing and even occasionally laugh out loud funny.
Sure, the plot was predictable and the kids were over the top in their dorkiness (My favorite touch: the über dork that even the nerds don't want to hang out with often sports t-shirts from Broadway musicals), but they were also pretty endearing. Owen Wilson was self-effacing, sarcastic and just a little bit wounded (the guys a homeless war deserter after all, he clearly has some issues. Whoops! Spoiler alert!) – and his deadpan delivery is a true gift. There were some smart gags, like when Drillbit takes Leslie Mann on a date and busts out the Charles Shaw, and they bond over how much they love Two Buck Chuck, though we know it’s for very different reasons (Get it? Because he's homeless! Oh, Trader Joes jokes.).
I wasn’t a fan of Danny Boyle in ‘Pineapple Express’, and this movie didn’t make me one – his bits just feel really forced to me. Also, the real heart of the story was in the relationship between the kids and Drillbit, so I could have done without the love story, which I think was thrown in to make people think it’s not a “kids” movie (Except, well, it kind of is.). Finally, the bully in the movie reminded me of our favorite bartender, Billy, which made me a little uncomfortable.