Written by / 6/01/2011 / No comments / , , , ,

DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

title: DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS
year: 2010
cast: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Bruce Greenwood, Zach Galifianakis
rating: **

Steve Carell abandons his usual subtle comedic approach for an all-out dweeb (or rather, schmuck) who’s not only unaware of his completely annoying personality, but seems right at home – only he’s more comfortable taking over someone else’s: that of Paul Rudd, a climber in a big company that buys-out smaller companies (think PRETTY WOMAN). His boss tells him of an important dinner where the worthy employees invite a pathetic loser; there’s a contest for the best, or rather, worst of the bunch. This bizarre plot-line leads Rudd to an accidental encounter with Carell, who spends his free-time stuffing mice. It’s after Carell finds his way into Rudd’s apartment that the real story begins. The impending dinner becomes an afterthought, most of the film occurring indoors as Carell turns Rudd’s existence around: ruining his love life, his work life, and just about everything he centers on. This is Rudd’s film – most of which depends on the badgered reactions to Carell’s formidable lunacy, going so over-the-top it needs the put-upon straight man to ground it. And by the time the titular dinner takes place, Rudd realizes something you’ll see coming for miles: that this pathetic geek is not just a schmuck, but a friend. Though the audience might not feel the same way.
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