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
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
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.
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.
to tell Filthy Something?