Funny, sometimes stupid movie

Dinner for Schmucks

Paramount/DreamWorks

Rating: 14A

114 minutes

Dinner for Schmucks is an Americanization (do the French ever make movies from American films?) of a much better French film from 1998 called The Dinner Game.

Senior executives from a financial company host a dinner to which they each bring the most idiotic/weird guest they can find and the most idiotic wins a prize.

Paul Rudd plays a bright young executive invited to the party. He’s too nice a guy to go along with the idea, especially since his fiancée thinks it’s terrible, although he sees it as an opportunity to improve his career. But then he literally runs into the character played by Steve Carell.

Carell plays a clueless, lovable moron who works in a tax office. His hobby is dressing up dead mice and recreating artworks; he calls them ‘mouseterpieces’ (maybe one of the writers visited the gopher museum at Torrington).

Obviously the guys organizing the dinner are the real idiots for their cruelty in making fun of the people they invite (guests include a blind fencer, a guy with a pet vulture and another married to his life-size puppet).

Carell is especially good, pulling off a difficult role by never hinting that there is anything wrong or different about his character. He is what he is, a clueless moron, but perhaps the most decent human in the cast.

There are some very funny laughs here, but much of the humour is cruel, stupid or low brow and not for all tastes.

Rating: two deer of five

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