Friday 3 September 2010

Dinner For Schmucks review

Dinner For Schmucks (12A, 114 mins)
Director: Jay Roach
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

In order to impress his loathsome boss, financial analyst Tim (Paul Rudd) must find the biggest idiot he can to bring to a dinner party and finds him in Barry (Steve Carell), who likes to spend his time dressing up stuffed mice and doesn’t appear capable of functioning in the real world. With its high concept in place, this desperate comedy then proceeds to ignore the dinner bit by spending most of the running time having Barry jeopardise Tim’s relationship with his girlfriend. By the time we actually get to the dinner there are finally a couple of laughs to be had, but only after scene upon scene that suffocate in a comedy vacuum of ridiculous situations and detestable characters. It’s another of those movies where 100 minutes of despicable behaviour is swept away by five minutes of moralising at the end. Just as bad is the total waste of two top drawer leading men, with Rudd as the straight man reduced mainly to reaction shots while Carell channels his inner Jim Carrey to mug as manically and gratingly as possible. If you want to see him play an idiot to infinitely greater comic effect, take another look at Anchorman instead.

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