DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS
Tim, is an up-and-coming executive who has just received his first invitation to the "dinner for idiots," a monthly event hosted by his boss that promises bragging rights to the exec that shows up with the biggest buffoon. Tim's fiancée, Julie, finds it distasteful and Tim agrees to skip the dinner, until he bumps into Barry--an IRS employee who devotes his spare time to building elaborate taxidermy mouse dioramas--and quickly realizes he's struck idiot gold. Tim can't resist, and invites Barry, whose blundering good intentions soon sends Tim's life into a frenzied downward spiral and a series of misadventures, threatening a major business deal, bringing crazy stalker ex-girlfriend, Darla, back into Tim's life and driving Julie into the arms of another man.
Director: Jay Roach
Cast: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Stephanie Szostak, Zach Galifianakis, Bruce Greenwood
Release Date: Jul 30, 2010
Rated PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language and sexual content
Runtime: 1 hr. 50 min.
Genres: Comedy, Comedy
Kind of like an old basketball court with too many dead spots Dinner For Schmucks looks like its ready made for classic comedy status with a strong cast and a funny concept, it’s a remake of the French film Le Dîner de Cons, but plays it too safe throughout and fails to keep the laughs coming at a consist basis. Jay Roach, the walk example of directorial mediocrity, directs this film with a unfocused hand and delivers an uneven and overlong comedy. Running nearly 2 hours and feeling every second of it, Roach can’t seem stay focused on the funny aspects of the film or his cast. Steve Carell is totally committed to his character and is likable and funny more often than not. Paul Rudd doesn’t fare as well as he’s left to function as the straight man to the general zaniness around him. It’s a shame that Rudd’s finally gotten headlining roles but been denied to the ability to be funny, just take a peek at his older films and you’ll see how terribly he’s being misused as of late. Zach Galifianakis has a small role but he steals every scene he’s in and you’re left wishing his character had had a bigger part. Lucy Punch is semi terrifying as Tim’s one night stand. Jemaine Clement is relegated to overly cartoonish over the top role as the “cutting edge” artist. His character is a good example of what’s wrong with the film. The script peppers the film with all these overblown characters but never utilizes them properly and plays it to safe and thoroughly avoids anything even close to mean spirited even though the concept is very much so. Instead, we are left with a generally predictable paint by the number affair that holds off on the big dinner scene for way too long and leaves wondering if it was worth the wait.