“Dinner for Schmucks” movie review

October 16, 2010

Dinner for Schmucks

This movie should probably be renamed Movie for Schmucks as it is not laugh out loud funny as the trailers would have you believe, that said some people are raving about how funny it is…maybe these are people that laugh at others misfortunes too. Or are we being too harsh?

Dinner for Schmucks is based on the premise that all round nice guy and up-and-coming executive Tim, is about to be promoted and has just received his first invitation to the “dinner for idiots,” a monthly event hosted by his boss that promises bragging rights (and maybe more) 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 realises 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 comic misadventures, threatening a major business deal, bringing crazy stalker ex-girlfriend, Darla, back into Tim’s life and driving Julie (or so Tim thinks) into the arms of another man.

This is one of those movies that sounds funnier than it really is, and can’t even be saved by the comic genius of Steve Carell and Paul Judd (who plays a similar role in “I love you Man”). “Dinner for Schmucks” is itself an Americanization of a French farce, 1998’s “Le Diner de Cons,” with “Meet the Parents” director Jay Roach at the helm. So if Jay Roach can make hilarious flicks like all three Austin Powers movies, Mystery, Alaska, Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers to name a few of Director Jay Roach’s comedic masterpieces, surely this one has to be good too? Sorry but not this time.

Luckily Zach Galifianakis, (bearded guy from “The Hangover”) who plays Steve Carell’s nemesis, another IRS manager who believes he has the ability to control the human mind, and who also stole Carell’s wife from him is one of the outstanding funny men in this long and sometimes boring comedy. Sorry Jay Roach but seems you may have missed the mark on this one…always a first time.

Fabulous English comedy star David Walliams (of “Little Britain”) is brilliant as Herr Mueller, the vain Swiss upper-class twat Tim’s desperate to land as a massive big client for his firm but even he couldn’t save this one for us. Maybe it is a guy movie, or maybe you just have to like ridiculous humour like American Pie and 40 Year Old Virgin but for us it was just tedious and boring with little to laugh at…but others were laughing out loud in the theatre so maybe it was just not our night for comedy?

Seen it? What did you think?

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