One thing I can say about Dinner for Schmucks is that it was well developed. It is not sloppy in a way a lot of comedies tend to get, but it is a bit too long for a comedy. It was funny although its humor is not clever, it is more ridiculous and idiotic than anything. Nonetheless, it will make you laugh and maybe even crack up a few times. I wouldn’t rush to the movie theater to watch it, waiting for it on DVD would be the smarter option. It is inspired by a French comedy Le Dîner de Cons, which was quite successful.
The movie develops with Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd) who is working hard to get a promotion and making his almost perfect life completely perfect. He steps to the plate when one of the main guys at his office is fired and he is offered his position after a bold presentation; the catch is that he has to join his boss and the other big shots at a secret dinner to get the new position. This isn’t just any dinner, everyone must bring an extraordinary person a.k.a schmuck meaning idiot and whomever brings the most strangest specimen wins; while their idiot gets a trophy and is “released back into the wild”. Tim’s better half, whom he’s proposed to several times Julie (Stephanie Szostak) is appalled when Tim tells her what he has to do and she puts some sense into him. Unfortunately, by a chance encounter Tim is blessed with one of these rare people, Barry Speck (Steve Carell) and he is not able to turn away from this easy opportunity. Barry is an amateur taxidermist, he uses dead mice to create art pieces and his naivety pushes him over the edge to idiocy.
Barry takes over Tim’s life, he’s trying to help him but he ends up destroying every aspect of Tim’s life and plans. The more Barry “helps” the worse things get for Tim. The easy promotion is not so easy anymore. Barry forces his friendship upon Tim and teaches him that nothing is more important that sticking to one’s values and appreciating someone for who they are.
I don’t believe Steven Carell to be one of the funniest comedians of today, in this role he is the same character as in Anchorman and a bit less clever than his character in The office. The same goes for Rudd, he’s always the passive aggressive guy with a girlfriend that has to put up with the dummy. Although these are not refreshing roles for them they do fill the shoes well, Carell does a great innocent idiot. Another comedian that appears here and always does a great psycho is Zach Galifianakis. Finally, Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Concords completes the movie with his wild character.
If you’ve seen director Jay Roach‘s work such as Meet the Parents and the Austin Powers movies then you probably know what to expect. It is not a hilarious movie, except for a couple of scenes/jokes but it will give you a good giggle all throughout with its silliness and absurdity. If you want to watch a witty comedy then this would be the wrong movie to choose.