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Julian’s Rating: 8/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 5.6/10
(3 reviews total)
As of late, Hollywood seems to be stuck in a hot mess. Films just aren’t the same anymore. Action films aren’t thrilling, horror films aren’t scary, drama films aren’t passionate, and perhaps most importantly, comedies are no longer funny. Throw a popular actor and a few crude sight gags together, and unfortunately, that’s what is sometimes referred to as a comedy. It’s safe to say that we are stuck in a rut of unfunny comedies. However, Jay Roach’s Dinner for Schmucks has come to save the day, at least for the time being.
“Schmucks” boasts a plot that is pretty standard. Upon the firing of a higher-up employee, Tim (Paul Rudd) wants to move up in his company. However, there is only one way he can actually fill the position: bringing an idiot to dinner for the purpose of making fun of him/her. Soon after finding out about this task, he meets Barry (Steve Carell), a man who makes “mouseterpieces” and doesn’t exactly have a firm grip on reality.
In a recent surge of remakes, revamps, and reboots in Hollywood comes this remake of the 1998 French comedy Le Diner de Cons (The Dinner Game in English). However, unlike the many bland and unoriginal ‘comedies’ that modern film has offered lately, this is actually hysterical!
Much of the film’s hilarity should be owed to the screenwriters David Guion and Michael Handelman. The film features some snappy dialogue, laughter-inducing situations, and simply some of the funniest movie moments of the year. For what it’s worth, director Jay Roach should be given quite a bit of credit for this film’s hilarity. He not only keeps the seemingly familiar styles of humor that the script offers; he also allows the extremely talented cast members to add their own flavors to the material.
Speaking of the cast, everyone who is a part of it is truly exceptional. Carell is all kinds of crazy in his zany role. He brings a fantastic comedic spirit to his character, handling his character well even in the dramatic scenes. Rudd is also great in his role, but in a different kind of way. He helps to keep the film grounded despite all of the strange situations. Szostak does a fine job as Rudd’s girlfriend, and memorable supporting work comes from Jemaine Clement, Zach Galifianakis, Lucy Punch, and Octavia Spencer.
However, It’s not perfect. It’s a bit clichéd here and there, and it’s not exactly a classic in the making, but these “Schmucks” will have you laughing yourself out of your seat.
Dinner for Schmucks
Directed by Jay Roach
Written by David Guion and Michael Handelman (screenplay), Francis Veber (Le Diner de Cons)
Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Jemaine Clement, Zach Galifianakis, Lucy Punch, Stephanie Szostak
Other Player Affinity Reviews
Dinah thought: “The comedy got off to a quick start introducing its protagonist in Paul Rudd, the antagonist in cartoonish overwritten evil senior executives and a few now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t side characters who pop up to help the story along. Subtle humor must have been the route of choice or you could just say Dinner for Schmucks wasn’t actually humorous. The entire plot took place over the course of two or three days time leaving no breaks from the same tired antics. Mainly, Steve Carrell plays his part like Michael from The Office with a bad dye job and ugly sweater. Supporting characters manage to outshine him most notoriously in the climactic dinner scene. Dinner for Schmucks is an exercise in idiocy. It fails at sentimentality, the running gags are blasé, and the cast has next to no chemistry.” Rating 2/10
Simon thought: “What a year Steve Carrel is having. He launched things off with the leggy comedy Date Night, followed up by the surprisingly fantastic, and even leggier, Despicable Me. With Dinner for Schmucks landing somewhere in the middle quality wise, Carrel has proven to be one of the biggest comedic draws out there. He owns every scene he’s a part of in “Schmucks” and you may never hear me say this again, but he more than upstages the hilarious Paul Rudd. If there is a fault to this remake, aside from the fact that it is a remake, is that there is not enough Carell — he’s that good. Smaller qualms aside, the vastly different dynamic he shares with Rudd’s character and a co-worker played by Zach Galifanakis are both hilarious, sometimes touching, but always show the actor’s range. The climactic dinner scene is tear-inducingly funny as is an entire sequence involving a stalker of Rudd’s Tim. Dinner for Schmucks may not be the funniest movie of the year, nor is it director Jay Roach’s best work, but it does its job well.” Rating: 7/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 5.6/10