Dinner for Schmucks
The French film The Dinner Game “Le Diner De Con” was released in 1998 and director Jay Roach brings us the adaptation of that comedy titled, Dinner for Schmucks. Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd) is an executive at Fender Financial and his boss, Lance Fender (Bruce Greenwood) invites him to an exclusive dinner party. At this dinner, company executives have to bring one special guest who is so weird that at the end of the night, one of them will be voted the biggest idiot. Tim is reluctant but really wants a promotion and he lucks out when he meets I.R.S. employee, Barry Speck (Steve Carell) who stuffs dead mice, dresses them up in small clothing, and poses them as people. (What’s wrong with that?) Tim thinks Berry will win the prize for bringing the biggest loser but his girlfriend Julie (Stephanie Szostak) – whom he asked to marry him several times – thinks it’s really mean spirited and breaks up with him. Tim’s conscience bothers him a little but with the motivation of the big promotion he decides to take Barry to the dinner where there are other total losers, a few mentally ill folks, and even the disabled. (When my wife said there was someone in the group like me, I asked if they were mentally ill or blind.) The first half of the film is slow and we are only treated to a few chuckles, but the last half and especially the dinner scene had some really hilarious moments. It seemed like the entire cast followed a tight script, but you would think with great comedians like Rudd and Carell at least a little improvisation would have occurred. Yes, there are some bodily fluid jokes but over all – thank goodness – the movie stayed away from the raunchy crude humor we have come to expect. (Of course, there was the blind guy but I won’t go there.) This is a good situational comedy but not the big hit that was expected. Still good for a few laughs and I’m giving it a C- rating.
This movie has been given a PG13 rating by the MPAA
Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals.
I rely more on a good story line than special effects.