Movie Review: Dinner for Schmucks (2010)

Tonight I got the chance to see Dinner for Schmucks, released July 30, 2010. The movie stars Steve Carell as Barry, and Paul Rudd as Tim. The general plot is that Tim is a wanna-be-moving-up-in-the-world executive at a venture capital firm. In his quest for success after he impresses the boss he is invited to a private dinner where each of the attendees invite someone with a talent so they can make fun of them. The idea being that they are all so much of an idiot that they will never know the difference. Of course, Tim meets up with Bary through an automotive accident, and for the life of him, just cannot get rid of him. Tim sees how obsessed Barry is with making stuffed mouse shadow boxes that he figures this is the perfect person to invite as his guest to this dinner.

There is also a romantic sub-plot between Tim and his wife Julie played by Stephanie Szostak. They have a rocky romance such that he has proposed numerous times and she continues to profess her undying love and happily ever afters.. just not today. She finds out about the dinner and is quite confused and upset that Tim would even think about attending a party that is designed to make fun of others. This is where he begins his downward spiral of lies and deceit trying to keep his relationship with his wire, but also to keep Barry in the dark about what is really going on.

Overall, my impressions was the movie was going all centered around a dinner party. That was definitely not the case, as the dinner did take place, but only in the last 20 minutes of the movie. The plot was wonderfully done, and intermixed with romance, comedy, and a few tidbits of wisdom. Unfortunately my anticipation of the dinner (which was by far the best part of the movie) detracted from my enjoyment. I kept wondering, “Ok is the dinner going to start now? How much longer till dinner?”

I did laugh out loud several times, so that is a bonus. The audience was quite energetic also, although they laughed a lot more than I did. Sometimes I am often reminded of a friends words of wisdom.. “Simple minds, simple pleasures”.

All in all, I give the movie 3 stars. Mainly for the ideas that the author wanted to get across, and the attempts at humor. This is one of those movies best seen at the movies, and not at home. Having the big theater experience and the laughter of the crowd makes the movie. If I were to watch this at home alone, it would drop at least a star maybe more. So go and see it while you still can at the theaters.


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