Dinner for Schmucks
|Dinner for Schmucks|
|Directed by||Jay Roach|
|Based on||Le Dîner de Cons (The Dinner Game) written by Francis Veber|
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Edited by||Alan Baumgarten|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||114 minutes|
Dinner for Schmucks, a 2010 screwball comedy film, is the American adaptation of the French film Le Dîner de Cons (The Dinner of Cretins), being described by the director as "inspired by" the original rather than a remake of it. It does retain many familiar elements of the original, with the basic plot including the involvement of the taxation authorities and the love triangle around the main character, but he is made much more sympathetic (this is the first dinner he has participated in, and he is not in fact having an affair or deliberately cheating on his taxes) and the actual dinner is shown. The film was directed by Jay Roach, written by David Guion and Michael Handelman, and stars Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, who had previously teamed up in Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. The film was released theatrically on July 30, 2010.
Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd) is a mid-level financial executive, who comes up with a way (special novelty lamps) to invite wealthy Swiss businessman Martin Mueller (David Walliams) to become a client of his firm. Impressed by Tim's ingenuity, his boss Lance Fender (Bruce Greenwood) invites him to a "dinner for winners" in which he must find and bring an eccentric person with a special talent; the winner earns a trophy and the executive that brought him or her gets glory. He soon learns it is more of a "dinner for idiots", and the partygoers will be mocked mercilessly. Meanwhile, Tim's girlfriend Julie (Stephanie Szostak) lands a curator deal for eccentric artist Kieran Vollard (Jemaine Clement), and Tim unsuccessfully proposes to her, as he has done several times before. After learning of the cruel nature of the dinner party, Julie becomes upset and asks him not to attend and he agrees.
The next day, Tim accidentally hits IRS employee Barry Speck (Steve Carell) with his car when Barry tries to retrieve a dead mouse in the road. Witnessing Barry's bizarre behavior (he taxidermies mice and arranges them into elaborate dioramas), Tim realizes he is the perfect loser for the dinner. That night, Barry shows up at Tim's apartment unannounced and accidentally invites over Darla (Lucy Punch), who had a one-night stand with Tim years ago and has been stalking him. Barry decides to guard Tim's apartment from Darla to make up for inviting her. When Julie arrives at his apartment, Barry mistakes her for Darla and sends her away, giving Julie the mistaken impression that Tim is cheating on her. Barry decides to call Vollard and finds the number saved in the phone. While talking to him, he and Tim think they hear Julie in the background and head to Vollard's apartment. Barry tosses Tim's keys through Vollard's apartment window and must break in, only to find Kieran preparing to make love to two girls dressed like animals (neither of them are Julie) and head back home.
Afterwards, Barry opens the door to find Darla waiting outside. Julie calls and asks Tim if he's having an affair and Darla steals the phone and stuffs it down her pants. While Tim hides in his bedroom, Darla and Barry get into a bar-styled fight, scaring Darla away. Julie accidentally left her phone at Tim's apartment and a voice message from Vollard reveals to Tim and Barry that Julie is leaving for his ranch. Barry works for the IRS and offers to take Tim to work to find Vollard's ranch address, where they meet up with Barry's boss and rival, Therman Murch (Zach Galifianakis) (who stole Barry's wife), who displays his "mind control" power over Barry. Tim leaves the next day for his brunch with the Muellers but Barry crashes, with Darla pretending to be Julie, when he gets a call from Tim's assistant telling him to bring a still missing Julie. Tim is pushed into asking Darla to marry him by Barry and Julie walks in during. Tim and Barry chase Julie down to Vollard's ranch, where Tim accidentally offends Barry (which further hurts his and Julie's relationship).
To his surprise, Tim found Barry already at Fender's dinner party. Barry is a hit with the group and is a shoo-in for the trophy, but unexpectedly, Therman arrives, embarrassing Barry with his mind control. Tim then tells Barry everything and, after some encouragement, gets Barry to win with "brain control", before causing his boss and fellow executives to reveal the truth. A guest reacts badly to the news and inadvertently causes chaos in the process, with Mueller losing a finger. A fire breaks out, while a bird brought by one of the guests flies away with Mueller's finger. Tim is fired, as is Julie after Barry makes Vollard realize it would be a problem to have her continue working for him. In the end, Tim marries Julie, Barry enters into a relationship with Darla, does some artwork with Vollard, and hosts a monthly "breakfast for champions" for all of the losers. Therman writes a new book in the mental hospital and Tim gets a new museum started in Switzerland for Mueller. After the closing credits, it is revealed Fender's company has gone under and the Forbes magazine has named him "Wall Street's Biggest Loser."
- Steve Carell as Barry Speck
- Paul Rudd as Timothy J Conrad
- Zach Galifianakis as Therman Murch
- Jemaine Clement as Kieran Vollard
- Bruce Greenwood as Lance Fender
- Ron Livingston as Caldwell
- Andrea Savage as Robin
- Lucy Punch as Darla
- David Walliams as Mueller
- Stephanie Szostak as Julie
- Rick Overton as The Beard Champion
- P. J. Byrne as Davenport
- Octavia Spencer as Madame Nora
- Alex Parlar as Santiago Pérez
- Jeff Dunham as Lewis / Debbie
- Chris O'Dowd as Marco (credited as "Christopher O'Dowd")
- Kristen Schaal as Susana
- Patrick Fischler as Vincenzo
- Randall Park as Henderson
- Larry Wilmore as Williams
- Alex Borstein as Martha (Barry's Wife / Therman's Girlfriend)
The budget for the film was split between the distributor Paramount Pictures, as well as DreamWorks Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment. The production budget was $69 million, although thanks to tax credits the cost came in at $62.7 million.
The film's first trailer debuted with Date Night, Death at a Funeral, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The second trailer was shown before select screenings of The A-Team, Get Him to the Greek, Grown Ups, and Inception.
The film has received mixed reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives a normalized score of 44% based on 178 reviews, with an average score of 5.4/10. The critical consensus was: "It doesn't honor its source material — or its immensely likable leads — as well as it should, but Dinner for Schmucks offers fitfully nourishing comedy." Metacritic, which gives a weighted average score out of 100, gives the film 57% based on 35 reviews.
The film made $8.4 million on its first day, ranking number two at the box office, behind Inception. The film earned $23,300,000 on its opening weekend, placing it second overall for the weekend of July 30 to August 1.
Debate ensued about the title's usage of the Yiddish word 'schmucks.' Debbie Schlussel asked whether the title should have been Dinner for Schlemiels as it would better describe the clumsy character played by Steve Carell. Responding in The New York Times, critic Michael Cieply determined that the intent was to be ambiguous as to which of the two main characters, played by Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, was the intended idiot. In The Forward, Laura Hodes suggested that 'schmucks' correctly referred instead to the behavior of the film's antagonists, the bosses of Rudd's character. Despite this, the original French play and movie, Le Dîner de cons, was originally translated as The Dinner Game when released for English-speaking audiences. However, a literal translation is "The Dinner of Cunts". The choice of the word 'schmuck' was probably deemed less offensive than the original French title.
Dinner for Schmucks was released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 4, 2011.
- Zeitchik, Steven (July 25, 2010). "'Dinner for Schmucks': a long time between courses". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). p. 4. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
- Fritz, Ben (2010-07-29). "Movie projector: 'Schmucks,' cats, dogs and Zac Efron will all open behind 'Inception'". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "Dinner for Schmucks (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- O’Connell, Sean (2010-07-26). "Interview: “Dinner for Schmucks” director Jay Roach on Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Sacha Baron Cohen". hollywoodnews.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
- Yvonne Villarreal (May 2, 2010). "Summer Sneaks: ‘Dinner for Schmucks’. Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, together again". Los Angeles Times. p. 2.
- "Dinner for Schmucks Delayed – Runs from Salt, Inception". Screencrave.com. 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Variety magazine, June 9, 2010
- "New Dinner for Schmucks Clip and Character Features". Screencrave.com. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "Dinner_For_Schmucks on Funny or Die". Funnyordie.com. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "Dinner for Schmucks Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Dinner for Schmucks". Metacritic. CBS.
- Debbie Schlussel (2010-04-07). ""Dinner For Schmucks": Hollywood Brings Us More Garbage for Summer Movie Season". Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- Michael Cieply (2010-05-04). "Much Movie Title Meshugas". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- Laura Hodes (2010-08-03). "Of 'Schmucks' and Schlemiels". The Forward. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- "Con trick". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Dinner for Schmucks|
- Official website
- Dinner for Schmucks at the Internet Movie Database
- Dinner for Schmucks at AllMovie
- Dinner for Schmucks at Rotten Tomatoes
- Dinner for Schmucks at Box Office Mojo