Hugely inspired by ‘The Dinner Game’, Jay Roach’s ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ ends up as a drab, slapstick, screwball comedy which struggles to make you laugh.
Starring Steve Carell and Paud Rudd, at once the film looks tempting given Carell’s sensitive comic acting. Nevertheless, as soon as the two protagonists get to know each other, the film loses its pace and ends up as a tedious and time-consuming affair with a predictable end.
‘Dinner for Schmucks’ is the story of Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd), a financial analyst who is on a verge of promotion at a highly competitive private equity organisation. However, in order to make it to the top, Conrad has to impress his boss (Bruce Greenwood) at a secret monthly dinner where company elites compete in brining the biggest fool as their guest. At first, Conrad’s girlfriend Julie (Stephanie Szostak) is appalled at the sick idea of having an idiot as your guest; yet, there is no stopping for Conrad who eventually stumbles upon Barry Speck (Steve Carell), a nice IRS employee and amateur taxidermist.
Barry vainly tries to tickle your funny bone as he makes intricate dioramas with dead mice he`s lovingly dressed up. A kind-hearted and naïve person, Barry bumps into Conrad and tires to help him out of a series of sticky situations only to make things more complicated.
This includes making Julie suspicious about Conrad, thinking he`s having a fling with a psycho stalker (Lucy Punch) and couple of other jinxed moments. In all, Jay Roach tries to create a genuine situational comedy which falls flat on its face, as ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ ends up as an awkward and dull comedy.
Even Carell fails to ignite lighter moments due to serious lack of original script. ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ is a passable flick
Ratings: One cheer for this one!