Movie Review Rewind: Dinner For Schmucks (2010)
Dinner for Schmucks has a mean-spirited premise, but really lets its characters run wild. Steve Carrell and Zach Galifianakis really go crazy and get outrageous. Just like the movie itself, actually. But, as insane as the movie gets, it lasts too long and Carrell, the most entertaining guy in the movie, starts to become a little too much.
Tim (Rudd) is an executive that works on the 6th floor and wants to make it to the 7th floor, where the real action is. After Tim makes a bold move during a meeting, he gets the opportunity he was looking for. But first, he has to attend this very unique dinner his boss has every month. Every guest brings an idiot, and at the end of the night, a winner is chosen. If Tim’s idiot wins, then he wins an office on the elite 7th floor. Let the best Schmuck win!
“Everything happens for a reason” is said throughout the film and does hold some truth in this movie, but it is first mentioned after Tim hits Barry (Carrell) with his car and they become inseparable from then on, but it’s not Tim’s choice. Tim just wants Barry to go to the dinner and that’s it. He never knew how much Barry would be a part of his life and how he would come pretty close to ruining it.
Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell are a decent comedy duo, but most of the laughs are due to Carrell. Rudd is the character who feels ashamed for what he is doing but wants that promotion. But at what cost? Jay Roach (director of Austin Powers and Meet The Parents) tries to find the humor in a story that is about hurting people’s feelings. But Roach actually plays it safe with this comedy. It does not cross any lines or break any boundaries and does not really offer anything new.
If you are going to make a movie like this one, then go all out. Have a happy ending, but make the ride rude and nasty and laugh about it. Most of the movie focuses on Carrell and Rudd getting to know each other and watching Carrell destroy everything Rudd has going for him. The actual dinner itself is the last 20 minutes or so. Everything breaks loose at the dinner but it is not the focus of the movie. The focus is on all of the things that lead up to the dinner.
The movie is funny and some of the funniest parts are in the previews. Not all of them but some. And Dinner for Schmucks does have an uplifting conclusion and a nice message for the audience. But we all know where the plot is heading and how it will end. I like Rudd, but it is Carrell who carries this movie. He plays such a sweet, innocent guy who is absolutely clueless about everything. His ideas, actions and antics are the real fun of this movie.
It is absurd and ridiculous but Dinner for Schmucks will make you laugh more than just a few times. It is enjoyable and entertaining if you go in with the right mindset. But I cannot help but think that it could have been better. Perhaps with an R-rating, this movie could have been edgier and different while still being out-of-control and hilarious.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.
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