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Dinner for Schmucks (DVD)

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4 Reviews

Genre: Comedy / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Jay Roach / Actors: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Stephanie Szostak, Jemaine Clement, Zach Galifianakis ... / DVD released 2011-01-17 at Paramount Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    4 Reviews
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      28.09.2011 22:03
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      Another zany comedy featuring Steve Carrell

      - Story -

      Tim is an ambitious executive who jumps at the chance of getting a promotion when his boss allows him the opportunity to attend a dinner. However, this is no ordinary dinner as everyone who attends must bring with them someone who has a remarkable skill, as I think its referred to at one point, though its made clear that by remarkable skill, they mean someone who's a right idiot really, with the person who brought the most remarkable person (ie the biggest idiot) to dinner being awarded the promotion on offer. Tim accidentally bumps into a quirky guy by the name of Barry, an IRS officer who as a past time makes stuffed mice into different historical figures(!) and realises that he would be a perfect candidate for this dinner, so he offers for him to join him at dinner. Meanwhile, Tims long term girlfriend Julie, who Tim has proposed to unsuccessfully multiple times before, hears about this dinner and is disgusted at the idea of having to bring someone for everyone to mock and walks out on him in disgust and Tim and Barry end up spending alot of time together during the lead up to the dinner - will Tim be able to get his promotion and get back with Julie and what about Barry? will he find out why he's been invited to the dinner? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.


      - Thoughts/Opinions -

      This is another pretty low brow movie, I think its safe to say. It has an interesting lineup in terms of the cast, featuring Steve Carrell, Zach Galifianakis and even David Walliams as the Swiss multi millionaire client that Tims banking organisation is desperate to do business with. The characters are all quite zany, particularly Barry and his somewhat bully of a friend Therman, who can apparently control your brain by a form of hypnotism. Barry and Tim are, obviously, the main characters , Tim is a bit of a wishy-washy type character I thought, I wouldn't say that he's someone you could feel too sorry for at the start of the movie, although given the absurdity of what happens and some of the characters, not just Barry but also Julie's 'friend'/work colleague Kieran (who's a bit of an arty Russell Brand, sex fiend type uh chap...!), you can laugh at the situations he ends up in and I think that come the end of the movie, you are perhaps happier for him as a character - of course the ending is a bit too Hollywood and the term 'oh-so-obvious' also applies - the scenes set during said dinner really do become comically farcical, I'm not going to go into details as obviously that would involve some spoilers but yes its a bit farcical, infact as a viewer by the time the dinner scene(s) arrive, it dawns on you (or it did me anyway) that Barry is perhaps one of the more regular, less idiotic, guys there. As much as Barry is a quirky guy with a particularly peculiar hobby, it becomes clear that he appreciates being around Tim and thinks of him as a friend, as he tries to help him repair his relationship with Julie but, as often happens in such movies, he unfortunately makes things worse on accident, though he vows to make things up to him, much to Tims despair/reluctance.

      This is a fairly basic zany comedy which isn't particularly original as far as some of the gags are concerned, although I did laugh a few times during the movie, it isn't unentertaining if you want an easy, comical watch. I think Carrell and Galifianakis really make the movie, Carrell easily portraying Barry as a bit of an anorak (is it the case that, as portrayed in some movies, people who work for the IRS are bores with not much of a life, socially speaking? or is it just that some people tend to presume that? lol) but thats ok because his heart is in the right place and really its not Barry who's the villain of this 'show', he's just a bit of a dim witted guy, somewhat remiscent of Dupree from You,Me and Dupree, only he's not got the same eye candy factor lol the villain of the show, or villains would be the over the top arty polygamist Kieran (scenes with him are amongst the funniest) and Mueller, the multi millionaire that Tims company is chasing after, who is played by Walliams in his usually 'slightly' camp manner.

      I find it a bit hard to know how to rate this movie, its really a matter of personal taste how you feel about it, although I will mark it down a bit due to the ending, in as much as its really quite cheesy with a rather obvious moral which in a way it felt like we were being preached in a sense, which I didn't particularly appreciate. I think that some people will find this quite a good laugh and enjoy the quirkiness of it, find it funny in some parts and generally quite entertaining, while others will shake their heads at the ending and feel cheated, wondering why they were presumably supposed to feel sorry for a character who perhaps isn't entirely likeable (as a bit of a greedy guy wanting his job promotion etc.). Personally, I found that the characters made it work pretty well, I thought it was entertaining and laughed at a few of the scenes, so it worked for me so to speak but I wouldn't say its a movie everyone will necessarily enjoy. I should note that the movie contains some crude, sexual content and some strong language, so the 15 rating is appropriate and as such, I wouldn't recommend young teens or kids watch it, it might be a bit embarrassing, although there's no really graphic scenes, it might be a bit uncomfortable to watch with your parents perhaps!.


      - Would I Recommend It? -

      This is a difficult one....it all depends on your taste. There are quite a few similar movies in terms of zany comedies with daft characters and so on, some of which are better than others. The main cast of this movie have all appeared in other comedies, is this one of the better ones? ehhh I'd say its really quite run of the mill, so I suppose I don't have a strong enough liking of it to outrightly recommend it. I'd say that I'm undecided, as it depends on what your taste in comedy movies is, whether your a big fan of the main cast and so on - if so then I'd say that its worth renting or catching it on TV but I don't think I'd bother buying it, as im not sure I'd want to watch it again.

      Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Thanks for any and all rates and comments, I really appreciate them! this review was originally posted on Ciao UK under the same username.

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      • More +
        11.05.2011 10:39
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        Every so slightly better than I had expected

        Dinner for Schmucks

        I wasn't too confident that this would really be my type of film when I noticed Carell plays a leading role in this, but I gave it a go nonetheless. Whilst it was fairly light and easy to watch, it wasn't one that made me laugh out loud or want to necessarily recommend to others to watch who're in the mood for a sharp and witty comedy. Having said that, it did have its watchable moments so I can see that it may appeal to some and would make for entertaining enough family viewing.

        Dinner For Schmucks has a fairly straightforward plot: Tim (played by Paul Rudd) is asked to join in a game with his co-workers. As a rising executive, he wants to please, so when his boss tells him that a monthly dinner party is arranged that he wants Paul to attend, he accepts. The difference is that this party has some special guests. Each employee must bring an idiot to dinner - the best idiot at the table wins, and by association, the executive responsible for bringing the idiot gets a promotion.

        So it's a tale of morals really. Would you hunt down an unsuspecting idiot and bring him to dinner on the premise that he's wanted, only to have others make fun of him so that you could win yourself a much-wanted promotion? Tim, being a decent guy (at least in comparison to some of the up-themselves execs he works with) agrees with his girlfriend that the idea is horrible. Things quickly change when, by chance, he bumps into the perfect idiot in the road! The idiot is Barry (played by Steve Carell), an IRA agent who devotes his time to stuffing dead mice and making little set-up stages and scenarios for them. He's obviously weird enough and fits the criteria for being an idiot after their first tense encounter for Tim to invite him to dinner.

        The majority of the film from here on out sees Tim and Barry get acquainted. They share their tales and histories, likes and dislikes, and start to get entangled in each others lives. Or more accurately, Barry gets himself entangled in Tim's life, obviously quite a lonely man with only his mice for company back home.

        Despite his strange tendencies, naivity and annoyingness, can Tim go through with taking him to dinner to be made a fool of? I won't say anymore, but I think the premise is quite a quirky one and one which I found interesting. The scripting was mediocre, in the sense that I felt there were parts which could have been wittier, funnier, however it was suitable enough to make it a certificate 12 so that it could appeal to family viewing.

        Carell played the role of idiot well; he was suitable drab and quirky at the same time, and not as annoying as I had expected given I'm not usually a big fan of his. Rudd was as expected; likeable and believable in his role as the exec torn between being a decent human being and wanting a promotion.

        Overall, the film had a comical and light-hearted feel to it, whilst the undertones and morals made it one worth watching if you want something a bit more grounded. Unfortunately I didn't find it always as witty or exciting as it could have been, and some parts did annoy me slightly. It wasn't, however, as silly or over-the-top as I thought it might have been, so it's not one to dismiss straight off the bat.

        2011, rated certificate 12.
        RRP £19.99 but selling on Amazon for £6.99

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          28.04.2011 17:20
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          A really great feel good film with loads of chuckles to be had! Definitley a watcher!

          Dinner for Schmucks is a US based comedy starring one of my favourite comedy actors Paul Rudd! I find the guy histerical with his somewhat awkward approaches towards women where everything seems to go wrong and this film is no different!

          Paul gets promoted in his job and in doing so the boss invites him to one of their annual dinners where they must bring a schmuch to dinner with them that they can all laugh at. The person who brings the biggest schmuck gets kudos from the boss for discovering the most unique weird person which would possibly allow them to progress their career more.

          Paul thinks he has struck gold when he accidentally stumbles upon Steve Carell's lonely loser type character who has the unusual weird hobby of stuffing rats! Paul invites Steve to the dinner which isn't for another week or so but it isnt long before Steve starts clinging onto Paul as his only friend and starts causing friction between him and his girlfriend.

          Everything that goes wrong between Paul and his girlfriend Steve tries to put right but anything that can go wrong does and it results in hillarious scenes and consequencies!

          Steve comes across as an absolute calamity but by the end of the film you come to love him.

          The film has a bit of a soppy, happy, feel good ending which left me feeling as if I had seen a really good film that sent me through a mix of good emotions!

          I reccomend this film to everyone its fantastic!

          I wish I had seen it earlier but this was one of those films that my friends didn't like the look of due to the previews however because I like Paul Rudd, I made sure we rented it out on our film night and everyone enjoyed it!

          ~Also on Ciao.

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          28.12.2010 17:25
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          Could have been better

          Dinner for Schmucks is the latest US goofball movie that I had lined up to watch and Christmas seemed to be the perfect moment to give it a run out. It's produced by Jay Roach, the man who brought to you Bruno, Meet the Fockers, Meet the Parents and 50 First Dates, he also directed the Austin Powers series, I have to say that this definitely is not his masterpiece.

          The film stars Paul Rudd, an actor who has made his name playing characters where he usually faces the wrath of his partner and Steve Carell who has a little more range in comparison.


          Dinner for Schmucks is based on the French 1998 film "Le diner de cons" where different businessmen have to bring an extaordinary idiot to dinner, when rising executive Tim runs over a man who beautifies dead mice and creates scenes with them, he thinks he's found the one to propel his career forward by winning the dinner by bringing the biggest idiot of all.

          Unfortunately Tim's girlfriend (played by budding French born actress Stephanie Szostak) doesn't approve of the idea and is drawn closer to her creepy and bizarre artist boss Kieran Vollard brilliantly played by the New Zealander Jermaine Clement (from The Flight of the Concords).

          The dialogue isn't that great (apart from Vollard's lines) and it's the kind of film that you can switch your brain off whilst watching but Barry''s (Carell's) attempts to constantly fix things he makes wrong and makes them worse in doing so, will have you in stitches and cringing at the same time. Whilst Tim is technically the mean guy, you can't help feeling for him, as his life takes a turn for the worse!

          There are 5-6 characters that play centre-stage (Lucy Punch as the highly sexed psycho stalker Darla, David Walliams as Swiss billionaire Mueller and Zach Galifianakis as a mind power mad auditor being the ones I haven't mentioned so far) and these characters really help bring the best out of film, towards the end there's a scene where we meet lots of oddball characters at the dinner for idiots, there are some pretty entertaining parts there but for the most part I think the characters are denied a funnier dialogue that would have really made the film hillarious.

          Usually these type of films like to make use of at least a handful of good looking actresses but the female characters in this film tend to be rather disgusting (or at least the characters are) except for the very pretty Szostak.

          The film starts off strongly, fades away a bit in the middle and comes back with a strong ending and whilst it's definitely not as good as The Other Guys but it's better than a lot of US comedy releases in what has been a very weak year for this kind of comedy.

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