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The Dinner Game (1998)

Le dîner de cons (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy | 15 April 1998 (France)
To amuse themselves at a weekly dinner, a few well-heeled folk each bring a dimwit along who is to talk about his pastime. Each member seeks to introduce a champion dumbbell. Pierre, an ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacques Villeret ...
Francis Huster ...
Juste Leblanc
Daniel Prévost ...
Lucien Cheval
Christine Brochant
Marlène Sasseur
Benoît Bellal ...
Host 1
Jacques Bleu ...
Host 3
Philippe Brigaud ...
Tanner (boomerang thrower)
Michel Caccia ...
Guest 1
Laurent Gendron ...
Guest 2
Mykhaël Georges-Schar ...
Host 2
Edgar Givry ...
Pierre-Arnaud Juin ...
Daniel Martin ...


To amuse themselves at a weekly dinner, a few well-heeled folk each bring a dimwit along who is to talk about his pastime. Each member seeks to introduce a champion dumbbell. Pierre, an avid participant of the game, runs into one problem after another that devilishly compromises his secrets, turning the tables on him and his objective, which diverges as the movie progresses. Firstly, wishing to be certain he has selected a winner, he invited his guest, Mr. Pignon, to meet him at home before setting off; but night of all nights, Pierre has put his back out and it is questionable whether he can manage to get to the dinner. The blundering Mr. Pignon will continually spring forward to help relieve Pierre of his troubles, which have drastically compounded, pointing in the direction of friends, taxes and women, and Pierre's dimwit Pignon accordingly will prove his substance to the end. Written by Plume Dargent

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 April 1998 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Dinner Game  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


FRF 82,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$306,283 (USA) (23 October 1998)


$4,065,116 (USA) (3 December 1999)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Francis Veber's play premiered at the Théâtre des Variétés on 17-9-1993. Jacques Villeret played Pignon 600 times. See more »


At the beginning, the train has two locomotives, then with four, then back to two. See more »


François Pignon: Sometimes I feel like you're really taking me for an imbecile.
See more »


Featured in La saga Pignon (2001) See more »


Le temps ne fait rien à l'affaire
Written by Georges Brassens
Performed by Georges Brassens
© 1961 Editions musicales 57
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User Reviews

Very funny in a slightly cruel way
15 October 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Pierre Brochant and his friends have a weekly dinner party where each invites an idiot they meet to attend. They then let the `idiots' talk and laugh at them - each week the winner is the one who brings the biggest idiot. However this week Brochant's idiot, François Pignon arrives at his house to find that he has injured his back and cannot go. About to leave, Pignon stops when the answer-phone reveals a message that Brochant's wife is leaving him. He tries to help the situation and Brochant sort of needs him to, but he can't help but make things a little worse every time.

The premise of this film made it sound like it was set at the dinner party of the title and it put me of a little as I didn't like the cruel sound of it. However the actual plot occurs in Brochant's flat, but it does still have a cruel streak that is a little unpleasant. Because Pignon is such a nice little man it is hard to see him so openly reviled and mocked by Brochant, I know the plot requires it but it was done with more than a little malice and at times left a bitter taste in the mouth. However, for the majority the film is actually very funny in a slight way. The laughs generally come from buffoonery from Pignon at Brochant's expense!

The plot does turn around to be one of lessons towards the end which is good, and the story does have a good message of acceptance through it. The actors do pretty well with their broad characters, although they are allowed a little expansion towards the end of the film. Lhermitte's cold hearted bastard is a little to hard and cruel without enough in the way of being judged by the film. Villeret makes the film and perfectly makes Pignon a likeable and warm little fellow but still undeniably makes him the type of person who you would cross the road to avoid. The beauty of this is that, when Brochant learns his lesson, we as the audience also learn something too. Support roles are good but this film is mostly a double-hander which the two leads carry well.

Light and funny despite the slightly cruel nature of the plot, this film is well worth a watch. The humour is very much situation based and relies on plot devices to move it on, but it's quite fresh and amusing and makes for an enjoyable 90 minutes.

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