If Dinner for Schmucks
sounds a little familiar that's because it's based on Francis Veber's
original idea and film called Le Diner de Cons. Although I enjoyed the
French version, the American... even though it is far sillier, is
slightly superior because of the dynamics between Paul Rudd and the
comedic genius Steve Carell.
The premise behind
Dinner for Schmucks revolves around Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd), an ambitious
analyst who is finally moving up within the corporate ranks or so he
believes. Unfortunately a spanner is thrown into the works because in
order for him to be accepted by his Boss, Lance Fender (Bruce
Greenwood), he needs to invite a "special" person to a
"special" dinner party. It may seem simple for Tim, all he needs to do is find the
strangest and most bizarre person for Fender's dinner and not only will
he win the competition but he will be finally accepted amongst their
ranks and the possibility of getting a promotion and being inducted to
the sacred 7th floor.
Although these "special"
people are generally the butt of the corporate world's jokes, Tim
doesn't care as he is solely focused on the task at hand when he
accidentally meets Barry Speck (Steve Carell). Tim believes that he has
found the perfect "idiot" for the party, a divorced IRS employee who has
a passion for taxidermy as he turns dead mice into "mouseterpieces". As
a friendship forms between them, one can already see the train wreck
just waiting to happen at the dinner party but this is all part of the
charm of Dinner for Schmucks.
Another problem is Julie
(Stephanie Szostack) whom Tim is constantly trying to get her to marry
him, however Barry has a certain knack of ruining everything for Tim.
There is a classic scene when Barry inadvertently invites Tim's stalker,
Darla (Lucy Punch) to his home. With mock sex acts and bottles being
thrown around Tim's apartment, this does not bode well for Julie who
decides to leave Tim. Tim now has the dilemma of getting Julie back from
her artist client, the eccentric Kieran (Jemaine Clement) and somehow
get Barry to his boss' dinner party.
Apart from the funny
Carell, Dinner for Schmucks contains a wealth of amazing comedic
performances that include Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, David Walliams, Lucy Punch, Octavia Spencer and Chris O'Dowd.
It's quite a bunch of comedic actors and although much of the comedy is quite juvenile, it's actually quite
refreshing and is great to see the relationship between Tim and Barry
unfold. It may not be the most memorable comedy of the year but it does
what it is suppose to do, deliver the laughs and makes you smile, even
though the director plays the safe route.
Video, Audio & Special
On Blu-ray, the video
quality boasts some amazing clarity with sharp images and vibrant
colours. Add in a 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack and it actually makes good
use of the channels that only enhances the entire experience. There are
no errors like artifacting whatsoever in this release. For special
features, there is a Behind the Scenes with the Cast, Deleted Scenes and
my favourite, the Schmucks Up, the outtakes reel. For a movie that
relatively missed the spot at the box office, I was surprised at how
much decent content was on this disc.
I'm not sure whether
this is worth a purchase but it's definitely worth a rent as certain
scenes are quite hilarious, unlike the rather dull trailers. It contains
comedy, action, drama and even romance and I must admit that Carell's
character almost brought a tear to me eye from his personal story. With
that said, if you’re a
fan of Carell, he once again shines as the mild mannered idiot. No
offence Steve but you are the 21st century version of Jerry
Lewis and this movie proves it. Lastly, The Beatles "Fool on the Hill"
song perfectly suits this movie from the initial credits to the end.