If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Hey fellow Spill members! Before I start my review I would just like to say that I've never written a review for Spill. Therefore, please don't hate too hard; however, it would be great if you guys could give me some constructive criticism to aid me in my future reviews. I hope to do some more, and I thought I'd share my opinion on this movie since I saw a premiere screening of it yesterday. Without further ado, here's my review of Dinner for Schmucks!!
As I was picking up the Serj Tankian and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra tickets that I won from a local station, I happened to notice a stack of free passes to see Dinner for Schmucks that night. After being informed that, yes, they were free, I grabbed a couple and raced back home. My friend and I quickly changed clothes and made it in time to catch the screening. The theater wasn't a full house, but there was a good-sized audience. We settled down and prepared to watch a premiere screening for a movie that won't be released for another 3 weeks!
Dinner for Schmucks stars Paul Rudd and Steve Carell. It is from the director of "Meet the Parents", Jay Roach. Dinner for Schmucks is actually a remake of a 1998 French film, "The Dinner Game."
Dinner for Schmucks centers around Tim (Rudd), an executive who finds himself in a great position to move up when a superior is fired. Tim succeeds in convincing his boss that he is worthy for replacing him. However, there is one thing that Tim must do before he takes over the position: he must find an "idiot" to bring to a dinner hosted by his boss. At this dinner, the "dinner for idiots," each employee brings their idiot. The best idiot wins a trophy, and the person who brought the idiot is more favored by the boss to replace the fired guy. Tim, therefore, sets out to find an idiot. Surprisingly enough, he hits someone with his car on his way to work the next day. This someone was trying to pick up a dead mouse in the middle of the street. Meet Barry (Carell), the type of guy that Tim needs for the dinner. Barry's hobby is "mouseterpieces," where he collects dead mice and stuffs them to make dioramas of famous paintings or scenes. Tim, seeing that Barry is indeed "out there," invites him to dinner, unaware of the ruckus soon to be cause by Barry's spacey and forgetful acts.
The movie isn't perfect. It certainly feels like it has done multiple times. The ending, the way the story movies along, etc. are all things that we've seen at least once in a comedy. However, Dinner for Schmucks manages to inject some new things in this formula that make it worthwhile. The performances are terrific. Steve Carell was born to play the role of Barry, a quirky space cadet with good intentions but who is clueless to the repercussions of his "helpful" actions. He results in most of the laughs that one will get out of this movie. Lucy Punch delivers as Darla, Tim's ex who is brought back into the picture after an unfortunate online chat with Barry. Paul Rudd's performance isn't stellar, but it's only because those around him are outstanding. The performances are what make this movie stand out from other comedies released thus far in 2010, such as She's Out of My League. Dinner for Schmucks is also a PG-13 movie. That being said, the movie proves that jokes don't have to be crass and raunchy to garner laughs. The comedy results from the ways in which Barry unknowingly makes Tim's life miserable. One can't help but laugh at the fact that Barry is completely oblivious to what he's doing. The movie is accessible to a wider crowd and is guaranteed to please audiences. The audience around me thoroughly enjoyed the film as much as I did. It's funny, and many of the jokes are more hit than miss. My biggest complaint with Dinner for Schmucks is its gimmicky ending. Like I said earlier, it really isn't any different from the ways that most romantic comedies end. One almost feels sucker punched to have watched a charming movie only to be hit with an ending that feels trite.
All in all, Dinner for Schmucks, despite a dose of mediocrity, succeeds with performances guaranteed to win over audiences and humor that many will find enjoyable as an escape from the plethora of R-rated comedies.
My Spill Rating: HIGH
Thanks for reading my review! I hope to continue to add to this website in the future!