Film Review: Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd Serve ‘Dinner for Schmucks’

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CHICAGO – The third of the Steve Carrell Seasonal Movie Trilogy debuts with the uneven but absurd comedy “Dinner for Schmucks.” Paul Rudd, now the go-to actor for straight-man-yuppie-turned-wild-dude joins a strong cast, including the ubiquitous Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement (”Flight of the Concords”), and Bruce Greenwood. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Paul Rudd portrays Tim, an up-and-coming financial analysis who risks humiliation in an important meeting in the company’s executive suite, and through that risk convinces his boss Lance Fender (Bruce Greenwood) to take a chance on his ability to bring in an important and wealthy client (David Williams as Müeller). To do this, though, there is one more important test – to find a schmuck or idiot to bring to Fender’s dinner table, so that he and his boardroom can amuse themselves through the idiocy presented.

After being informed of the plan, Tim’s comely girlfriend Julie (Stephanie Szostak) condemns the dinner, and Tim fears she will now fall into the arms of the artist she represents, Kieran (Jemaine Clement). While contemplating this dilemma in the car, Tim literally runs into Barry (Steve Carrell), who was in the street retrieving a taxidermy-style stuffed mouse. Barry’s hobby of creating scenes with the stuffed mice is seemingly perfect for Tim’s upcoming business dinner for schmucks. If only he can keep it from Julie.

When Barry shows up a day early for the dinner, he begins to cause problems in Tim’s life. An errand computer message he receives, for example, conjures one of Tim’s stalkers named Darla (Lucy Punch) and her infiltration of Tim’s situation, both with Julie and his business contacts, causes elements of both relationships to unravel. Barry’s awkward attempts to help Tim get Julie back leads to a mind control IRS agent name Therman (Zach Galifianakis), and a seat at the table when the dinner is served.

“Dinner for Schmucks” opens in everywhere July 30th. Featuring Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, Bruce Greenwood, Lucy Punch, Stephanie Szostak, Ron Livingston, Larry Wilmore and Kristen Schaal. Screenplay by David Guion and Michael Handelman,
directed by Jay Roach. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Dinner for Schmucks”

Of Mice and Men: Paul Rudd as Tim and Steve Carrell as Barry in ‘Dinner for Schmucks’
Of Mice and Men: Paul Rudd as Tim and Steve Carrell as Barry in ‘Dinner for Schmucks’
Photo Credit: Merie Weismiller Wallace for © 2010 DW Studios LLC

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Dinner for Schmucks”

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