Film and TV

Luke's Locker

Owen and Luke Wilson: They may make some mediocre movies, but you would trade places with 'em. Admit it.

It's been a Wilson Bros.-heavy month, with Owen opening last week's critically drubbed You, Me and Dupree and Luke pimping My Super Ex-Girlfriend, which opens tomorrow after not screening for critics at all. Owen's on the cover of this month's issue of Blender magazine, which touts him as "the slacker king of comedy" while proclaiming "the dude abides." Funny: Three years ago at South by Southwest, my old driver's-ed partner came up to me at the Texas Film Hall of Fame ceremony and complained, "Why do you always write that I sound like I just took a bong hit?" Like I told Owen then, "'Cause you do?" See, it wasn't just me.

Today, Luke's the subject of a pretty lengthy piece in The Washington Post, and in it he addresses the fate of The Wendell Baker Story, which he wrote and co-directed with older brother Andrew. The movie, in which Luke plays an ex-con who goes to work at an old folks' home, premiered at SXSW in 2005 and got some enh-to-ugh reviews. Has a helluva cast (Luke, Owen, Will Ferrell, Harry Dean Stanton, Kris Kristofferson, Eva Mendes). Has Wilsons ready to go out and promote the hell out of it. Doesn't have a distribution deal. May never come out. May go direct to airplane. So what gives?

"'I want it to come out, and I want people to see it,' Wilson says simply, offering the excuse that the original financiers went broke and sold their rights to the film, which cost $8 million. 'I've just been so through-the-mill with it. It's just a bummer more than anything else.'"

Luke also talks about seeing Ivan Reitman movies in defunct Dallas theaters (the UA Cine, the Preston Royal) and how often he comes back to Dallas--like, all the time?

"My dad calls me and asks, 'When are you coming home, when are you coming to visit?' and I'm like, 'Dad, I come back more than anybody I know.' I go back all year, for a few days or a week. I keep a car at my folks' house. And then I get there and they don't really seem to want me around. So I just kind of hang out. Maybe it's a Tex-Mex thing, but I haven't found good Mexican food in L.A., so I just hit the same restaurants. A couple of my oldest, best friends live there. My girlfriend makes fun of me, but all I'll do when I'm in Dallas is drive around, drive around and look at old buildings. I'm like a cop when I go back to Dallas, I just cruise around and point to this and that, and just look. I'll say to my girlfriend, 'You want to see the first house I grew up in?' and she's like, 'I see it every trip, Luke.' "

Did I mention My Super Ex-Girlfriend didn't screen for critics? --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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