“Dinner for Schmucks” is a Tease for Laughter

Genres: Comedy and Remake
Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Release Date: July 30th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language.
Distributors: Paramount Pictures


Director: Jay Roach

JJ Rating: B

See it again: Maybe.
Own it: Maybe no.
Recommend it to: I don’t know. It teeters on the edge of being awesome and not. It’s hard to state that people should see it or sit through it, but it does (I promise) have really great moments.


Barry Speck (Steve Carell) gets hit by a car driven by Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd). Tim thinks that it’s something of a miracle that he ran into this man. He needed a guest for a company dinner that invites people to make fun of them. And who better to run into than Barry the man that finds dead mice and makes them into art? Dinner for Schmucks.

I did not know that this movie was a remake or I would have Netflixed it ages ago. I hear that The Dinner Game is one of the funniest films ever made. I’ll see when I finally receive it. But for now I can only base this one what I saw with the American remake.

Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis were fantastic. They should just do improve film and tell them to go wherever they want and record it. Cut it down to one hour and half and put it in the theaters and I bet it’ll make millions upon millions. They’re just funny. They were the trilogy of awesome, but because Galifianakis (who use to have a longer name but ate the letters…hahaha) didn’t come in until the last third of the film, it had to sit on the shoulders of Carell and Rudd. They did a good job, but if there was a way to get all three to hold it somehow it might have been better. They could have used the idea from The Dinner Game as a starting point, but did it however the hell they wanted from there on out. No need to do what Death at a Funeral did earlier this year--verbatim almost.

Jemaine Clement (who is in the group Flight of the Conchords) had me laughing. His scenes with Carell had me go, “Huh?” They would say so many words that just didn’t really come to mean much of anything. That’s what it was supposed to be, but it was funnier to me because I know people who talk like that and think they’re being profound.

This is another film I just wanted to be fantastic. I wanted it so bad. It didn’t come. It’s that feeling of want for that thing order online to come, and every day goes by with no delivery, and each day is its own disappointment. That’s what these films are doing to me. They make me believe it’ll be this time and then I don’t get it. But this is different than craptastic summer stuff. I almost laughed non-stop, but Dinner for Schmucks always seemed to stop short. This is just disappointment. It’s like being teased and not allowed to just let go.

The actual dinner was somewhat funny with the quirky people that were there. I won’t get too specific about the guest because there is one person that’s just out there that makes that dinner funny. Dinner for Schmucks tried and tried to be outrageously funny each scene, but each scene would strive and not actually succeed. Sometimes the gag they worked with didn’t work as well as they wanted. What was one of my favorite parts happened at the end with the summary of what transpired after the dinner. I loved that, very creative and well executed.

I wanted so much more. But I’m tired of saying that. I really am. That’s probably because I can do better. I so could.

I write like: Gertrude Stein

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