Writer: Sophia Ling
Overall: 3.0 Out of 5
Cast: 3.5 Out of 5
Plot: 3.0 Out of 5
Effects: 2.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: "Meet The Parents”, “The Hangover”, “Knocked Up”
It seems we have another buddy movie on the menu. This time, director Jay Roach (from "Meet The Parents" fame) serves up a remake of the French classic "Le Diner de Cons" with some of Hollywood's upcoming comedy talents.
Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd) is vying for a promotion to the 7th floor but before he can get there, he must attend a dinner party hosted by his boss. The catch? Tim has to find a "person of extraordinary talent" (a.k.a schmuck) and present him at the dinner for the amusement of the guests. He then bumps into Barry (Steve Carell) who happens to be the perfect 'schmuck' for the dinner party!
"Dinner For Schmucks" is a reminiscence of the earlier Ben Stiller films such as "There's Something About Mary" and "Meet The Parents". The substitution of an aging Ben Stiller with Paul Rudd was refreshing and Steve Carell as always, delivers a brilliant comedic performance. It is ultimately Carell's portrayal of a "person of extraordinary talent" that prevents the film from flat-lining. Zach Galifianakis was equally good as Barry's enemy Therman Munch, whereas David Walliams from "Little Britain" fame appears as a Swiss businessman.
Director Jay Roach has brought us iconic titles such as "Austin Powers" and "Meet the Parents" and he employs the same approach in "Dinner for Schmucks". It's fast paced, filled with fun characters in awkward situations. The build-up and the punch lines could've been better though but in the end, it still manages to serve up a barrel of laughter. The plot might be a bit shaky, but luckily it was the cast that held everything together to deliver a decent film that is easily understood and enjoyable. Trust Steve Carell and Zach Galifianakis (notable for his performance in "The Hangover") to excel at the overly-slapstick approach of the script.
In the end, "Dinner For Schmucks" is more like an afternoon snack. It's satisfying for the moment but will leave audiences hungry for more barrels of fun and laughter.
Cinema Online, 01 October 2010