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Movie Review: Dinner For Schmuck's - Simply Funny

Steve Carell & Paul Rudd
Movie: Dinner For Schmucks
Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Stephanie Szostak, Zach Galifianakis
Director: Jay Roach

 Comedies don't come much simpler than Dinner For Schmucks. The plot is nothing more than a excuse to get these characters together on screen. Normally that would be a recipe for disaster but this movie seems to pull it off somehow. Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd) is an investment analyst on his way up when he comes up with a an idea to land a hundred million dollar client. At this point he's invited to a secretive and exclusive dinner by the head of the company. There's only one catch he must bring a guest, a remarkable person (an idiot). Tim's girlfriend Julie (Stephanie Szostak) is disgusted by the idea. Tim at first declines until he meets the perfect guest Barry (Steve Carell) a taxidermist who recreates art and history using dead mice. When Barry shows up a day early for the dinner he complicates Tim's life in absurd and unexpected ways.

The plot is not much really so the movie relies on the comedic timing and chemistry between Paul Rudd and Steve Carell. They don't disappoint, Carell is allowed to improvise and pretty much play the buffoon role to the tilt. Rudd does an excellent job of reacting to all the outrageous things that Carell does.
If you've seen any of his other comedies then you know what to expect. Rudd does a good job of playing the average guy in really weird situations. Carell plays Barry as an idiot but also as a guy who just wants a friend and is always ready to help. Instead of just laughing at Barry we feel sorry for him because even though he's an idiot he's a nice guy. The supporting cast is also great especially Zach Galifianakis as Therman, Barry's boss at the IRS who believes he has mind control powers (it only works on Barry). He's written a book on it "Your Mind Is My Puppet" it's 14.99 on his website plus shipping and handling. Although also an idiot he turns out to be Barry's arch rival and is also invited to the dinner. Then there is Jemaine Clement as Keiran an eccentric artist who stars in all of his pieces of art. He believes that humans are animalistic and that are only two things in life "sexy, sex" and "horrible boring death". Tim's girlfriend Julie works with Keiran at his gallery and Barry brings out all of Tim's insecurities about their relationship. Keiran does nothing to dispell Tim's doubts about his intentions.

The actual dinner is a bit of downer as the movie begins to run out of steam and introduces other remarkable people (many of which simply aren't funny). Therman and Barry finally settle things though in hilarious fashion. There is the required happy ending which doesn't really seem to go with the rest of the movie. However this is a comedy so things like that are of little consequence if the movie is funny. The dynamic between Carell and Rudd more than make up for the lack of plot and depth. The supporting cast also each add their own style of comedy to the film. This movie while being thin on plot is still a suitable diversion for those looking for a good time and some laughs. Those looking for something more than that will probably need to look else where. You can buy Dinner For Schmucks on DVD or Blu-ray from our online shop.

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April 20, 2011 at 8:33 AM

What I think that it is ok kind of movie. Dinner for Schmucks starts with a premise full of comedic opportunities, but spends the next hour and a half ignoring these.

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