If you’re the kind of Office fan who watches and says to themselves “Man, this is great, but I wish Michael was MORE awkward,’ then Dinner For Schmucks is the movie for you. If not? Well, it will probably wind up being an okay, sometimes funny movie that you won’t remember much of the next day. I really wanted to like this flick because I’m a fan of Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis but the film just didn’t do it for me. Here’s the deal, Rudd’s trying to get a promotion in his company, he’s gotten the attention of the boss (played perfectly by Bruce Greenwood, that guy’s great) which garnered an invitation to a dinner he holds where everyone has to bring an idiot. Whoever brings the biggest idiot wins a prize. Rudd’s a little conflicted about going mostly because of his girlfriend, but then he literally runs into Carell who has a penchant taking dead mice and putting them into dioramas as you can see in the above poster. You’d assume with that kind of set-up that you’re going to spend most of your time at the dinner enjoying the weirdness of everyone’s guests, but instead, Carell shows up for the dinner at Rudd’s place a night early and starts causing trouble for him.
If you listen to the Mallrats commentary with Kevin Smith like I have (lots of times), you’ll hear him talk about early versions of the movie that took half an hour to get the guys to the mall. The lesson being, if you’re going to call the movie Mallrats get to the mall pretty quickly. I kept thinking about this while watching Schmucks because it takes FOREVER to get to the actual dinner. In the meantime, you see Rudd’s problems with his girlfriend, trouble with a former one night stand, worry that his girlfriend’s cheating on him with a douchey artist and the introduction of Carell’s nemesis Galifianakis who is really weird, even for one of his usual characters. In addition to all that, the movie never really grabbed me and I just didn’t care about anything going on. There were a few good laughs here and there, but overall the movie was kind of boring, didn’t live up to its titular promise and wound up being too long at 114 minutes (I’m a strong believer that comedy should be a tight 90 minutes). Really glad I didn’t spend money on seeing this one in the theater.