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Saturday, June 25, 2022


Dinner not worth the price

Barry (Steve Carell) showed off his stuffed mice in one of the few funny scenes of the movie Dinner for Schmucks. | Paramount Pictures

“Wait for this movie to come out on DVD,” is the best advice anyone can tell the potential viewers.  It’s a great “nothing better is on” movie in the same way Bio-Dome is watchable.

At home it would be amazing; people could get so much done. They can leave for 15 minutes and come back not missing a single joke or interesting plot development, and they could do this at any point in the movie.

Sadly, this movie is in theaters and people are spending 114 minutes of their lives watching it straight through.

Based off the French film Le dîner de cons (The Dinner for Dolts), a film written and directed by Francis Veber, making this one more movie for the summer of unoriginality. The English version finished in second at the box office with over $23 million.  Inception came in first with over $27 million in the number one slot for the third week in a row.

The plot of this movie is simple; Tim (Paul Rudd), a finance executive, desperately wants a promotion to impress his girlfriend (Stephanie Szostak) so that she will finally say yes to his proposal for marriage.

To do this, he has to impress his boss during a secret dinner where co-workers see who can bring the biggest idiot. Tim finds his idiot by chance when he runs into Barry (Steve Carell) with his car. Barry is a really strange guy who works for the IRS and uses stuffed mice to make works of art, which makes him the perfect date for dinner.

All of this can be figured out by watching the first few seconds of the trailer. Zach Galifianakis is in very little of the movie. Jemaine Clement (from The Flight of the Conchords) has a lot of screen time (too much for his character). The dinner is not a big part of the movie; the time on-screen is about 10 minutes.

Most of the conflict comes from Tim’s girlfriend leaving and Darla (Lucy Punch), a girl that he slept with three years ago, coming over after Barry gives her Tim’s address through online chat.

The actors did a decent job; both Carell and Rudd can’t be blamed for this movie. They worked together before in The 40 Year Old Virgin, and had great chemistry on that movie. On this movie, they did the same roles that made them famous. Carell was weird and Rudd is the cynical straight man with relationship problems.

Director Jay Roach’s most notable projects includes the Austin Powers series and the Meet the Parents movies. His direction style falls into the category of just standard comedy. In the Austin Powers movies, the feeling was there is room for Mike Myers and the rest of the cast to run free. This was not in this movie. Everything felt as though it was being read from a script. All of this could be done to make sure that the film received its PG-13 rating. But overall, the look of the movie was good.

So, the people that should be blamed are writers David Guion and Michael Handelman; their last project was the terrible The Ex starring Zack Braff and Jason Bateman. They managed to turn those two unfunny and they have done the same with Carell and Rudd.

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