Movie Reviews

“Dinner for Schmucks” (2010)

Warning: SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW

Steve Carell and Paul Rudd reunite in this hilarious comedy that puts Tim (Rudd) trying to earn a promotion by inviting a loser to a dinner for the entire group to make fun of them. This loser is Barry (Carell), who turns Tim’s seemingly perfect life and ruins it. Barry confuses Tim’s girlfriend Julie (Stephanie Szostak) for a stalker, gets his car smashed in, and many other events that leave Tim upset. Throughout the film we meet crazy characters like Therman, who is played brilliantly by Zach Galifianakis, who works in the IRS with Barry and is a self-proclaimed mind reader.

The film is almost two hours of non-stop one liners and perfect slapstick comedy that finally leads to the dinner, well into the final act of the film. At this dinner Tim realizes how bad of a friend he is, and confesses the reality to Barry. In a shocking twist, Barry still wants to win, since he never has before. It is then that Tim realizes that to be happy he really only needs to be himself.

What really kept me laughing was the character of Barry. He is divorced as his wife left him for Therman, and became a hobby taxidermist. He would rescue any dead mouse and turn it into a scene featuring himself and his wife of future plans he had for their lives together. While the character provides many of the best lines in the film, you can also see a lot of hurt and pain from his past.

The film does run 114 minutes, just a shade of two hours, and while every scene seemed hilarious, I do feel some of the earlier office scenes could have been trimmed down. While they did provide a good setup for the future of the film, as the plot progressed, those scenes faded farther and farther back into memory.

Every actor brings something huge to the table, and this film should be a success for the summer. Rudd and Carell are geniuses, and films like these only add to the ‘current classics’ that we are seeing for these actors. The film is neither too grotesque or too profane, and is a throwback to older comedies that leave you feeling great after you leave the theater. This is one film that definitely is worth a $10 ticket.

Final Grade: 9.0/10

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