Dinner for Schmucks: A Flickcharter’s Movie Review

29 Jul


Throw away all your negative preconceived notions about this movie. Steve Carell’s haircut looks awful and the trailers don’t make it seem like anything special, but it’s actually a very solid comedy.

Dinner for Schmucks stars Paul Rudd as a man named Tim who is trying so hard to get a promotion, he accepts his boss’s invitation to a special dinner party. A party where a bunch of rich guys make fun of idiots they bring in off the streets. Despite his (and his adorable girlfriend’s) hangups about taking part of something so cruel, he completely warms up to the idea once he serendipitously comes across Barry (played by Steve Carell). Barry enjoys the fine art of mouse taxidermy and diorama building, and is what most definitely what people would consider to be an “idiot.” Barry causes Tim’s life to spiral into chaos and his girlfriend leaves him over a myriad of misunderstandings and wrong place/wrong time scenarios. I’m sure you can guess everything that happens next and all the lessons we learn about who the real idiots are…

Despite the predictability, the movie seems pretty fresh and the chemistry between Rudd and Carell is top notch. There are also some very good supporting roles from Zach Galifianakis and Jemaine Clement.

Dinner for Schmucks vs. Another movie starring Paul Rudd and Steve Carell:

Dinner For Schmucks vs. The 40 Year-Old Virgin

The 40 Year-Old Virgin is a modern classic in my eyes, and easily my favorite Apatow flick. Ultimately, Steve Carell’s character is much more believable and rooted in reality in Virgin, giving the movie a stronger emotional core behind the great comedic elements.

Where’s my click going? The 40 Year-Old Virgin.

Dinner for Schmucks vs. another movie directed by Jay Roach:

Dinner For Schmucks vs Austin Powers

Dinner for Schmucks isn’t in the same league as Austin Powers but it’s not any more than a step or two below. The sequels (and all the other Mike Myers bombs) have made everybody forget just how great the first Austin Powers movie is. It’s a pitch-perfect James Bond spoof and very solidly directed.

Where’s my click going? Austin Powers.

So where does it rank amongst the Best Movies of All Time?

It’s very hard to praise a movie whose makers felt it was a good idea to cast the least funny mainstream “comedian” (Jeff Dunham) not part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. That decision aside though, there really isn’t anything to complain about. The movie is consistently funny, has a big heart and very likable leads. Right now it’s in the top 1/3 of movies I’ve ever seen, which might be a little high but we’ll see how it plays out after I catch it on Blu-ray in a few months.

Any Future Flickchart Movement?

I’m terrible with comedies. I hated what are now two of my favorite comedies of the last 10 years the first time I watched them (Pineapple Express and Shaun of the Dead) and I loved Step Brothers and Superbad the first time I watched them, even though I now find them completely unwatchable. I’m almost positive though, that I will continue to enjoy Dinner for Schmucks. I don’t foresee any explosions in my appreciation for it but it should have some replay value.

Current rank on my Flickchart: #608/1795

(A review like this is probably only useful if you have an idea of who I am and how I use Flickchart. I am a classic film junky with a particular interest in Noir. I rank movies based on which I genuinely like the most or which one means the most to me. For instance I watched Chasing Amy over 30 times during the 6 months I had cancer. It was my comfort movie and will always be dear to me, so I have it ranked a bit higher (top 5%) than most would. Here are my favorite comedies made since 1980: Ghostbusters, Team America, Black Dynamite, Pineapple Express, The Big Lebowski.)

This post is part of our User Showcase series. You can find Daniel as espin39 on Flickchart. If you’re interested to submit your own story or article describing your thoughts about movies and Flickchart, read our original post for how to become a guest writer here on the Flickchart Blog.