In Dinner for Schmucks, Paul Rudd discovers that to get the big promotion he's always wanted, he has to do the typical task: find an idiot and bring him to a special dinner... a dinner for schmucks. Enter Steve Carell.
Director Jim Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers) has assembled what can only be described as an intentional train wreck. I'm still not sure what to think of said wreck. I'm pretty sure the movie is stupid and terrible, but, frankly, I'm not sure.
The first half of the movie is just dreadful, with Carell playing a character that makes Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels from Dumb & Dumber look like Albert Eienstein and Stephen Hawking. From its overall premise to each individual scene, Dinner for Schmucks is so over-the-top and silly it's hard to appreciate any of it.
And yet, as things continue to self destruct for the characters left and right, you find yourself becoming engrossed in the characters and its story.
The movie culminates with the actual "dinner for schmucks", an amusing, absurd event that more or less leads up to expectations. The funniest moments are shown in the previews, but it's a fun time nonetheless. Still, I'm not sure whether the sequence was actually good or so bad it was funny.
Regardless of the film's quality, the pairing of Paul Rudd and Steve Carell is quite good. But it's Zach Galifianakis who steals the show with a memorable supporting role. The movie finally begins to find its footing when he shows up.
Some will find Dinner for Schmucks funnier than others. As evident from this review, I'm confused by my own emotions. I could be an in-the-closet fan of the movie, but I'm pretty sure it just wasn't very good. I did enjoy the movie in the third act, but it really is just a disaster that is so painful it's hard to stop watching.
Recommended? Sure, why the hell not. A good movie? No.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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