Friday, July 30, 2010

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

Dinner for Schmucks

Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd goof around in this French remake directed by the man who also helmed the Austin Powers films. Rudd is a corporate hot-shot who's invited to private dinner thrown by his boss. The catch is that Rudd must bring along a 'winner' as his guest to entertain the rest of the group.

Though he's reluctant at first, Rudd relents when he meets Carrell's Barry, a nebbish, awkward fellow who takes things literally and spends his free time create mice filled dioramas. In the process, Rudd's Tim ruins his relationship with his art curator girlfriend, jeopardizes his career trajectory, and enrages a former one-night-stand. The film is filled with simple comedic bits, peppered with genuinely funny moments from Carrell and Zach Galifianakis, an IRS employee who possesses mind control abilities.

While I found the film fun and laughed quite a bit, it seemed to be more of a showcase for Carrell's goofy, slapstick humor. Rudd was bland and rather forgettable, though the supporting cast was strong with Galifianakis and Jemaine Clement providing plenty of laughs. While the end presents the moral of not using others to get ahead, which Tim learns by nearly losing his girlfriend, the film doesn't really chastise the corporate characters for the actions. Instead, in our YouTube world, the film almost makes it seem like it's natural to make fun of the different, odd, or weird. Because of that, the movie felt devoid of any real character and just a vehicle for chasing empty laughs. Skip it.

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