A comedy’s sole purpose is make you laugh and after a shaky first 30 minutes, “Dinner for Schmucks” delivers a fun final two-thirds. So as an audience member I thought the film makers were more cool than schmucky.
Tim (Paul Rudd) has a chance to get a promotion in his workplace but in order to do this he must find an idiot type person to bring to the monthly company dinner, a dinner where the invited idiots are laughed at. Tim bumps into Barry(Steve Carell), a bizarre guy who loves to collect dead mice and make “miceterpieces”. Barry takes an interest in Tim’s life and soon starts to wreak havoc on everything Tim holds dear. Tim’s girlfriend tell him to not go to this dinner because it’s not right, so Tim must either follow his heart or his next paycheck.
Dinner for Schmuck’s starts off slow and struggles to get any big laughs while its setting up its premise. Carell has always been a personal favourite of mine, and here he plays a very weird and wacky guy who is strangely loveable for all his annoyances. Paul Rudd another fave of mine, is a guy who has a string of great films under is belt now, such as Role Models, Knocked Up and I Love You Man. He sits back on looks on in horror at all the madness that’s happening in this film, a role needed in such a crazy film. Crazy is one of many words to describe the film. Schmucks has a very weird sense of humour, but one that my theatre was enjoying quite a bit. The majority of the laughs come from Carell doing everything possible to wreck Rudd’s life but without intending to. The film is too slow-paced at the start, but when it kicks it up a gear its a lot of fun. We get a great performance from Zach Galifianakis as the equally nuts enemy of Carell. Galifianakis is as funny as ever in this and he’s also weirder than ever.
The finale scene at the dinner is thankfully a lot of fun too, as it showcases several manic individuals such as a blind man who believes all his other senses are improved, a woman who talks to dead animals and an odd ventriloquist (but I guess all ventriloquists are). A plot about rich guys making fun of such people seems kinda mean and although the film makes Paul Rudd’s character see his wrong doings at the end, it still doesn’t excuse the fact that the film was making us laugh at these people throughout.
Schmucks is a nice surprise to end the summer and although it has a humour that will either be hit or miss with audiences, I found it to be a lot of fun.
RATING: 3.5 / 5