(Guess who’s coming to) Dinner For Schmucks Review

Every once in a while there comes out a comedy that just seems to say “Hey, let’s put this funny person with this funny person!” in an attempt to find the next funniest comedy duo since David Spade and that funny fat fellow. No, not Chris Farley… the one who replaced him! And when some one mentions they need to hire a writer, they say “We won’t even need to write a script! The movie will JUST BE FUNNY!”

Yeah…

The Story: Paul Rudd likes making lots of money to impress his girlfriend. So when his bossy boss tells him to find a SCHMUCK to have DINNER with, Paul Rudd meets Steve Carell, who is an idiot and he decides to ‘befriend’ him to take him to the DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS! Oh, before that happens, there is misunderstanding and mayhem everywhere.

The biggest thing I did not like about this movie is just inherent in the plot. It is a mistaken identity movie and a ‘digging the hole’ deeper movie. Much of the comedy comes from some character not knowing who another character is while that character pretends to be another character. This does not amuse me. Because I know what is really happening, so to see everyone just be idiots and not put two plus two together is really frustrating. Especially when you know it will all work out in the end.

Also, the two main characters basically create one or two minor problems, and instead of being honest about them, try to fix them in a crazy half baked retarded plan that makes those final ‘mouse trap’ moments in each Scooby Doo episodes look like genius military defense strategies. I am not opposed to digging holes deeper for comedy, but at least in a show like Curb Your Enthusiasm there is more honesty in its approach. Larry David just heads his way into conflict after conflict, but never tip toeing about like these two goofballs, he does so with loud stomps.

The movie is also paced really awkwardly. The two main characters go really out of their way to pursue their retarded schemes and it throws off the main plot of the movie, which really is pretty paper thin to begin with. I’m all for making a comedy more about the characters, but you should have to care about the characters. Rudd is just too much of a douchebag to really find likable and Carell is too much of an idiot to take seriously.

They try to throw in some heart string moments, but its all so by the books you really just don’t care, you’re waiting for the comedy to be given room to breathe but instead its smoldered by this feeling that every scene has to be ultra funny and filled with ‘oh no’ moments.

The two things I really did enjoy were side characters Lucy Punch as Rudd’s crazy Ex fling and Zach Galifianakis as Carell’s boss. Even though Punch may serve to feed some of that mistaken identity plot, her character never questions any of the crazyness going on because she is just twice as crazy. She provides a cute, sexy, funny opposite to Carell and really brings the energy of the movie up. As for Galifianikis… well… he just does what he does best. Him and Carell play off each other very well and it is fun to see Carell take him so seriously.

All in all the movie seemed like an uninspired idea. Let’s just put funny people in a movie and they will make it funny. But instead of coming off as fresh fruit, it really ends up just being canned preservative. It wasn’t the worst movie I’ve seen in a while, but maybe the most average.

Final Grade: C

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