Monday, August 02, 2010

Movie Review: Dinner for Schmucks

Last week I talked about "Get Him to the Greek" and compared it to "Dumb and Dumber" and how they both had that element where the humor came from being embarrassed for the character. I feel kinda bad because I feel I have to use that same comparison again for "Dinner for Schmucks". Remarkably, however, it's not during the dinner that I was feeling embarrassed. But, I'll get back to that bit.

The main character in "Dinner..." is a financial analyst looking for a promotion. He pushes a proposal in a meeting and they decide to consider him for an open position. But first, he must come to a dinner they're having. Once a year they get together at the bosses' place and bring some idiot with a remarkable skill. It's "The Gong Show" or "America's Got Talent" but the person with the most idiotic skill and personality wins instead of getting humiliated.

He's considering saying to the boss that he can't come to the dinner when the perfect candidate walks in front of his car to collect a dead mouse from the street. After collecting the idiot from the bumper of his car, the analyst invites him to dinner.

The idiot shows up at the analyst's house that night thinking the dinner is then. He then proceeds to plant stupid ideas and do things that can only cause misunderstandings of a catastrophic nature. It's this scene, from when he gets to the analyst's apartment until they leave a restaurant the next day that you can't help but cover your face. Really, pretty much everything involving this ex-fling who is in these scenes.

Before that and after that it's just funny. Steve Carell does a great job of being a funny idiot without embarrassing the audience. That's not a skill I've ever seen in Jim Carrey or Will Farrell.

I'm not getting this on DVD. Nor am I recommending it to everyone. But I do want to say that I laughed. Some movies I find funny, but I can go the whole movie without laughing. This movie I laughed at. Make of that what you will.

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