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Dinner for Schmucks (2010)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 30 July 2010 (USA)
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When he finds out that his work superiors host a dinner celebrating the idiocy of their guests, a rising executive questions it when he's invited, just as he befriends a man who would be the perfect guest.

Director:

Jay Roach

Writers:

David Guion (screenplay), Michael Handelman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3,387 ( 674)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Carell ... Barry
Paul Rudd ... Tim
Zach Galifianakis ... Therman
Jemaine Clement ... Kieran
Stephanie Szostak ... Julie
Lucy Punch ... Darla
Bruce Greenwood ... Lance Fender
David Walliams ... Müeller
Ron Livingston ... Caldwell
Larry Wilmore ... Williams
Kristen Schaal ... Susana
P.J. Byrne ... Davenport
Andrea Savage ... Robin
Nick Kroll ... Josh
Randall Park ... Henderson
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Storyline

Tim (Rudd) is a rising executive who "succeeds" in finding the perfect guest, IRS employee Barry (Carell), for his boss's monthly event, a so-called "dinner for idiots," which offers certain advantages to the exec who shows up with the biggest buffoon. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Takes One To Know One.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dinner See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,527,839, 1 August 2010

Gross USA:

$73,026,337

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$86,855,739
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While in Kieran's house, Barry notices a picture of Kieran standing next to Nelson Mandela, and confuses Mandela with Morgan Freeman. Freeman portrayed Nelson Mandela a year before in Invictus (2009). See more »

Goofs

When Barry is showing the mouse to Tim that is crafted to look like Tim as the camera changes back and forth so does Barry's grip on the mouse. See more »

Quotes

Julie: Kieran, You remember Tim?
Kieran: [nods] ... the stock broker.
Tim: No, no. I work for a private equity firm that specializes in distressed assets.
Kieran: So, kind of a stock broker.
Tim: Almost nothing like a stock broker.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, A diorama is displayed of a stuffed mouse sitting in a burnt down house, with Barry heard laughing as he reveals that Fender's company has gone bust with Forbes Magazine naming him the "World's Biggest Loser." See more »

Alternate Versions

The Viacom Media Networks (VH1, Comedy Central, etc.) version makes two notable changes to the brunch scene: 1. Instead of "I'M WET" the napkin reads "I'M HOT." 2. Barry's echo of Müeller's "Join yourself to her, in the name of love" is absent, presumably because Barry could be interpreted as mocking Müeller's accent. See more »

Connections

Features Project Grizzly (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Escape (The Piña Colada Song)
(1979)
Written & Performed by Rupert Holmes
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Used as Barry's cell phone ringtone
See more »

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User Reviews

Dinner sucks
22 August 2010 | by eneyeseekaywhySee all my reviews

In order to impress his girlfriend, Tim (Paul Rudd) needs to secure a promotion. So he decides to accept his bosses challenge; bring an 'idiot' to their annual 'Dinner for Winners'. A competition run by white-collar executives and disguised as a celebration of brilliance in unrecognised individuals. In reality, the meal is simply an opportunity for elitist senior-management types to laugh at some quirky and eccentric members of society. Tim's girlfriend tries to convince him the whole idea is abhorrent. Just as he is beginning to agree with her, he meets Barry (Steve Carell). An IRS worker, with a passion for creating art from taxidermied mice, Barry might just be the perfect man to help Tim win the competition.

The US version of The Office has shown us that Carell can do awkward better than most and Anchorman proved his capabilities of making stupidity funny. However, his character here is completely unlikeable and, more often than not, irritating. His bowl haircut, glasses and protruding teeth, evoke bad seventies sitcoms. A time when this look would have been a stylists shorthand for 'socially inept'. Paul Rudd, on the other hand, is given little opportunity to make us laugh, playing two-dimensional straight man, Tim. Director Jay Roach's previous franchises (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents/Fockers) may not have been the greatest comedies of the past fifteen years, but delivered as and when expected. The problems with Dinner for Schmucks lie in the pacing and the writing. With a 114 minute runtime, it is simply too long. Entire characters and subplots are superfluous. It also suffers badly from second-act-drag, believing that given enough on-screen time we will somehow empathise with our two leads.

Producer Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Bruno), seems to have called in a number of favours from celebrity friends and cast them in every available role. The idea, presumably, is that good performances can boost a weak script into something amusing. Of Course, this is not the case. Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) as avant-garde artiste, Kieran, makes the most of his characters nonsequiturs but only manages to raise a smirk at best. The same cannot be said for David Walliams (Little Britain), whose Swiss, aristocratic character, Mueller, is completely redundant in every way. The only worthy gag in almost two-hours is provided by Chris O' Dowd (The I.T. Crowd) as a blind swordsman. However having only a handful of lines and appearing twenty minutes before the credits roll, its far too little, far too late.

Dinner for Schmucks starts with a premise full of comedic opportunities, but spends the next hour and a half ignoring these. The original, a French film from 1998 entitled The Dinner Game, was a social satire focusing on the ridiculous measures the aristocracy will go to amuse themselves. It was full of witty dialogue and, at 80 minutes long, it worked. As often happens, Hollywood seems to have missed the point and delivered a broad and bland remake.


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