I never had the pleasure of viewing the original French movie “Le Diner De Cons.” Maybe I’ll rent it on Netflix, because I’ve read that the source material is far superior to 2010’s “Dinner for Schmucks,” starring Paul Rudd, and the ever so lovable Steve Carell (and I say that with sarcasm dripping from my nostrils).
I’m pretty sure you’re aware of the premise of the movie. If you aren’t, the name pretty much sums it up: A bunch of rich snobs have a monthly dinner, and each “snob” invites a complete idiot to the festivities. The most idiotic “loser” wins a trophy and the utter disrespect of said rich snobs.
Tim (Rudd) is a yuppie, up-and-comer in an investment company and is eventually invited to the dinner by his boss. Granted, Tim’s a bit conflicted as to the intent of the dinner, but after he literally runs into Barry (Carell), who has a penchant for creating “figurines” from rats that have died and gone through the taxidermy process; Tim’s found his “schmuck.”
This movie is billed as a comedy; I’ve attempted to write comedy. It’s difficult, EXTREMELY DIFFICULT! That being said, when I watch a comedy, I had better be laughing within the first 5 minutes, or I’m out, gone, hasta la vista, baby. With “Dinner,” I laughed maybe twice during this painfully long excuse of a movie, and that was probably forty-five minutes into this disaster.
Admittedly, there is one funny scene when Carell, Rudd, Rudd’s crazy, stocking wacko “girlfriend”, and a Swedish couple, whom Rudd’s attempting to woo into investing one hundred million dollars with the firm Rudd works for, all end up at lunch together. This was amusing, but one had to clime Mt. Kilimanjaro to get there.
The dialogue is borderline moronic (and I know moronic dialogue, because I write it all the time); it’s paint by the numbers Hollywood schlep movie making; the characters are woefully ill-defined; and with Jamaine Clement’s character (Kieran), they attempt to rip-off Russell Brand’s character, Aldous Snow from a classically funny movie, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,”.
Zach Galifianakis plays Carell’s boss at the IRS, where these two boobs work. The interplay between them (especially at the dinner) is humorous, and if it wasn’t for Zach, the film would literally be unwatchable. The Carell character is, shall I say, lovably annoying, and Rudd seems to be calling in his role for some sunny beach in Australia.
When a movie is shot, the director, in this case Jay Roach (Austin Powers trio, Meet the Parents) and whoever else, watch what is called “the dailies,” which is the footage that is shot during that day. I sit in wonderment and ponder how these guys could think this is good material. Roach’s pedigree is rather impressive. I guess dressing Carell up in some moronic outfit and letting him act like a buffoon was funny on set, but guess what guys, it didn’t translate to the big screen whatsoever. Again, I say to myself, they’re the ones making movies, and I’m the one hacking out a blog that nobody reads. Game, set, match to them.
Anyway, as you can guess, I do not recommending wasting your time renting this dreg of a flick. It could have been very funny, but the filmmakers blew it in my opinion. And Carell should just stop making movies. Steve, “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” was made back in the good old days of 2005, when the world wasn’t on the brink of, well, disaster. I think Shakespeare in the park is calling your name.
I give this movie 2 beers out of a six pack. Why? Because this crap was filmed for 65 million and it actually made money at the B.O. But, I don’t think they add in marketing costs to the stated budget, so this film probably cost somebody a job. Boohoo.