Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dinner for Schmucks

Dinner for Schmucks is over the top and utterly stupid, and I think that is what I liked best about it. It tells the story of a financial executive (Paul Rudd) on the verge of a promotion who is let in on a secret dinner held by his coworkers and boss: each guest must bring the most idiotic guest they can find whereupon the hosts proceed to make fun of them and deign one of them the most idiotic. On his way home from work that day, while about to decide not to attend the cruel affair, he runs into an ideal candidate almost certain to win top prize: an almost impossibly inept IRS worker (Steve Carell) who specializes in recreating famous works of art with dead mice. After the executive extends his dinner invitation, the IRS agent proceeds to destroy his life in a very short amount of time. Dinner for Schmucks has a mean spirited plot that is presented in a good natured way. Directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents) and based on a the French film The Dinner Game (which was written Francis Veber, the same man who wrote La cage aux folles which was the basis for the birdcage), the film actually finds humor in stupidity, which many comedies fail to due. Paul Rudd brings his charm and usual comic sensibilities and Steve Carell provides most of the laughs as the man who makes us wonder how anyone could be so stupid. Zach Galifianakis and The Flight of the Concords' Jemaine Clement are amusing as well in small roles. Dinner for Schmucks isn't comic gold, but it did do one of the most difficult thing to do in show business, and thats provide laughs.