PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language.
July 30, 2010
Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Jemaine Clement, Jeff Dunham, Bruce Greenwood, Zach Galifianakis
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Dinner for Schmucks
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Dinner for Schmucks is one of those films that really disappoints. The problem isn’t found in the hilarious comedic spars between the equally talented Paul Rudd and Steve Carell or its endearing story of a self-centered guy who learns what’s most important in life – not power, position – people. The head-shaking disappointment comes from the offensive content that overshadows the film’s comedic and underlying messages of friendship and acting selflessly.
The Movie in a Minute
A rising star in his firm, Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd) is pretty much up for anything to get to the next level at work. His determination is tested when he’s invited to the “dinner for idiots”, a monthly get-together hosted by the boss. Tim’s girlfriend, Julie, shares her disgust with the idea, but Tim isn’t sure he should pass up the opportunity. Ready to decline the invitation, Tim changes his mind after running into Barry (Steve Carell), an IRS employee with a peculiar hobby. Barry’s presence seems to invite chaos into Tim’s life, confirming – in Tim’s mind – that he made the right decision to bring his schmuck to dinner.
Dinner for Schmucks: The Good vs. The Bad
Based on the trailers, moviegoers can pretty much assume the type of crude “comedy” they’ll find at Dinner for Schmucks. Though this new all-star flick, starring Paul Rudd (Anchorman), Steve Carell (The Office), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), and other noted funny people, is rated PG-13, it’s got to be just on the edge of not being an R comedy. Beyond its use of obscenities (including an F-bomb) and profanities (God’s name taken in vain), audiences will be subjected to offensive sexual content and partial nudity in this remake of the 1998 French film Le Diner de Cons. Jesus also makes an appearance in the form of a mouse (Barry’s hobby is making “mouseterpieces” – works of art using dead mice). All of it is just too much.
To get a better idea of what to expect from Dinner for Schmucks, just look at the resumes of the filmmakers behind it. Director Jay Roach brought us Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and the Austin Powers series. And one of the producers is Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat himself. Without a doubt, the film has its moments of lighthearted fun and hilarious scenes. However, its crass content, which is sprinkled generously throughout the film, ruins the overall movie experience. It clouds the good comedy and strong message of preferring others before yourself despite peer pressure or personal gain.
In the End
According to movie ads, a movie critic is praising Rudd and Carell as the new odd couple. Though their comedic talent in Dinner for Schmucks is unquestionable, it's eclipsed by the film’s crass humor, earning it an empty bowl rating.
Hannah Goodwyn is the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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