© 2010Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
Dinner for Schmucks

Filthy says:
"Morally bankrupt bullshit."

What an insincere pilot of shit. I have two reasons to hate Dinner for Schmucks, but one of them is a hell of a lot more offensive than the other. The more egregious of the movie's problems really pissed me off.

In Dinner for Schmucks, a group of high-flying hedge fund bastards host a monthly party where they compete to see who can bring the biggest idiot. I'm familiar with the game; it's how I went to four Sadie Hawkins dances in high school. Sure, they thought I was the idiot, but I ask you this: who were the ones drinking from the punch bowl I urinated in? Well, me, I guess, but only that once and only because I ate all that sea salt.

Paul Rudd plays a bland-as-fuck asshole with a fancy apartment and a shiny Porsche who is eager to climb the corporate ladder. In order to do so he must attend the dinner party and bring a weirdo; bringing a really strange one will enhance his career. He has a brief moral hesitation to the challenge, but not a lot. Rudd also lies compulsively to his extraordinarily hot and uninteresting girlfriend (Stephanie Szostak). Szostak is a shitty female character. She's a big, fat fucking zero of a person with a fancy job (art curator). Note to crappy and lazy screenwriters: it's far easier to just give a character an interesting job than a personality. Also, make sure the person has nice shit and looks pretty. It's as fun as looking at a pretty page of Architectural Digest for two hours! Szostak is supposed to be the heart of the movie, the honest, pure one that guides Rudd to make the right decision. That's pretty fucking hard to do when you seemto very much like the high life: driving a nice car, having no soul, living in a fancy apartment and working in the high-flying art world with assholes on every side. But, hey, those are details, and this movie is all about superficial bullshittery.

At first, Rudd is mildly offended by the idiot dinner. Then he hits Steve Carell with his Porsche. You see, the movie's main character has ethics as long as they're convenient. Once he discovers Carell is a lonely moron whose hobby is making dioramas using dead rats, his ethics change. Once Rudd decides he really doesn't mind the heinousness of the dinner, he spends quality time telling Szostak bullshit about how he won't go.

The titular meal in Dinner for Schmucks doesn't take place until the last half hour. What precedes it is a buttload of convenient misunderstandings, just like in an episode of Three's Company. The misunderstandings could be easily resolved if people just told the fucking truth, or acted the way reasonable people do, not like pawns in a horrible screenwriter's feeble brain. Carell shows up a night early for dinner. A good screenwriter could have come up with a better way to get Rudd and Carell together, but we aren't dealing with good writers here.

The intent of the middle hour is to keep Rudd and Carell together so the idiot can produce more misunderstandings and for Rudd to learn more about Carell and develop some sympathy for him. See, because Rudd is a fucking asshole who can't organically sympathize with anyone. The misunderstandings cause Szostak to question Rudd's fidelity, meaning he must now prove his worthiness and sincerity enough for a boring-ass hot-looking chick. Rudd must prove, for purely selfish reasons, for the first time in the movie that he has a moral backbone.

Once at the dinner, Rudd feels so guilty that he defends Carell, and tells him the truth about the party. He had previously told him it was a "Dinner for Winners". The pair scheme to win anyway and, as always, give all the assholes there a comeuppance. Because this movie doesn't have the brains to understand moral consequences, the comeuppance comes in the visceral, physical form of destroying expensive shit.

Here is the less offensive problem with Dinner for Schmucks: it's rarely amusing. The theme is standard Hollywood redemption condescension, where they tell us some guy a lot like them has learned to respect others. The moviemakers cover the shitty, tired-ass plot with forced gags like an old lady uses lilac perfume to mask the stench of her imminent death. The result is a movie dripping with flopsweat. The actors try too hard to make laughs out of creepy, awkward situations. Rather than subtlety or cleverness, the tone is wacky and zany, two words best used when describing the kid in high school who wants to host the talent show because he thinks he and his puppet are hilarious. I can think of only one time during Dinner for Schmucks when I laughed and dozens when I just thought it was sad and tedious.

The bigger problem with Dinner for Schmucks is that it's as insincere, and as big a prick, as its main character. Rudd's redemption is based on his ability to finally, long after a normal human would have, discover the idiots at the dinner as human beings with human feelings. He doesn't think it's funny or cool to make fun of them. Apparently, we're supposed to be happy for Rudd for maturing and rising above, but love the movie for not doing that. That's fucking retarded.

Typical Hollywood logic, or lack of it. The grassfuckers are so fixated on their formula they can't even see the hypocrisy. One Finger for the awful Dinner for Schmucks.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Jeff Craig of Sixty Second Preview

Despicable Me is "This year's coolest animated comedy!"

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is "An irresistible action comedy that's pure tail-wagging fun."

Filthy's Reading
Robert Louis Stevenson - The Black Arrow

Listening to
No Age - Weirdo Rippers


Curb Your Enthusiasm