On-Camera Review of “Dinner for Schmucks”

by Eric Melin on July 30, 2010 · 2 comments

in Film

Here is my review of “Dinner For Schmucks” for ABC KTKA-49. You can catch the rest of my movie-related madness at Scene-Stealers.com.

Even though the new comedy “Dinner For Schmucks” is based on a positively rude French farce, director Jay Roach plays this American remake pretty safe. In fact, the tone never quite seems right—and “Dinner For Schmucks” never quite finds its footing before it’s supposed to go off the rails.

I say “supposed to” because the movie never does go off the rails—or anywhere else for that matter. The setup is mean-spirited for sure, with corporate climber Paul Rudd inviting a clueless Steve Carell to a ‘dinner for idiots,’ where all the smarmy rich people laugh at unsuspecting weirdos just for fun.

But just as soon as all of its characters are introduced, Dinner for Schmucks saddles some great comic talent in a lame sitcom plot with a feel-good lesson that’s about as obvious as it is inappropriate.

Rudd, frankly, is too smart to be this big of a dimwit, and “Flight of the Conchords” star Jemaine Clement is so over the top he thinks he’s in a bigger, broader film. Despite bad material and an awkwardly muted tone, Carell and Zach Galifianakis manage to squeeze out some pretty funny performances, so all is not lost. It’s just too bad that this American version is so toothless and cloying.

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  • G.L.

    Wow I painfully have to admit that I agree with this review. Same thing happened with “Death at a Funeral” wich is a remake of a Brit flick that is pretty damn funny.

    Pronunciation: \ˈshmək\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Yiddish shmok, literally, penis or left over skin from a circumcision.
    Date: 1892

    • Cap’n Carrot

      I loved the original “Death at a Funeral” with Alan Tudyk and Matthew McFadden, and refused to see the Chris Rock version which looked more painful than getting punched in the crotch by every member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

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