Dinner for Schmucks (Blu-ray)

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Rating: R

Starring:
Steve Carell as Barry
Paul Rudd as Tim
Zach Galifianakis as Therman
Jemaine Clement as Kieran
Stephanie Szostak as Julie
Lucy Punch as Darla
Bruce Greenwood as Lance Fender
David Walliams as Müeller
Ron Livingston as Caldwell
Larry Wilmore as Williams
Kristen Schaal as Susana
P.J. Byrne as Davenport
Andrea Savage as Robin
Nick Kroll as Josh
Randall Park as Henderson

Directed by Jay Roach

Special Features:
The Biggest Schmucks In The World: Behind the Scenes with the Cast
Deleted Scenes
The Men Behind The Mousterpieces: Bringing Barry’s Dioramas to Life
Outtakes Reel

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
DTS-HD MA 5.1Sound
Brazilian, Spanish and French Languages
Brazilian, Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 114 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“There’s only one thing keeping aspiring executive Tim (Paul Rudd) from corporate success. He must find the perfect guest to bring to his boss’s monthly dinner party, where the winner of the evening is the one who arrives with the biggest buffoon. Luckily, Tim meets Barry (Steve Carell), a guy who re-creates famous works of art with stuffed mice. When the duo show up to dine, the lunacy kicks into high gear. It’s a hilarious feast about two unlikely friends and one outrageous dinner!”

“Dinner for Schmucks” is rated PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language.

Mini-Review:
I was really looking forward to “Dinner for Schmucks” because I’m a fan of Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, Zach Galifianakis, and Jemaine Clement. I had pretty high expectations for this film. And while I did find it pretty funny, overall it didn’t quite meet the exceptionally high bar I set for it. It was worth checking out, but not the best work that the group has done.

Paul Rudd plays Tim. He’s pretty much the same character he plays in every film – a likeable everyman with a sarcastic streak. He plays the straight man for Steve Carell as Barry, a likable weirdo who has issues asserting himself and properly dealing with social situations. He also makes dioramas with dead mice. As soon as they’re put together you can guess how the movie will go – Barry and Tim will meet, have a series of awkward exchanges, ultimately end up at the dinner together, and then finally become friends. While it’s utterly predictable, it’s still entertaining to see how Rudd and Carrell execute it.

The two are surrounded by a first rate supporting cast. Jemaine Clement stands out as Kieran, an eccentric artist. He’s just so out there with his art and sexuality that he steals every scene his in. He even manages to upstage Carrell and Rudd with an awkwardly placed hand or bizarre costume. Zach Galifianakis also steals scenes as Therman, a supposed mentalist with a history with Barry. He’s incredibly creepy and he plays off of Carrell well. Lucy Punch also stands out as Darla, Tim’s psychotic former one night stand. She’s incredibly deranged and appropriately makes Tim’s life a living hell. Also in the cast are Bruce Greenwood as Lance Fender, Kristen Schaal as Susana, and Ron Livingston as Caldwell. All of them are a lot of fun to see in this comedy.

With so much set up to go right in this film, what went wrong? Besides the aforementioned predictable plot, I think the other problem is that the final dinner wasn’t quite as funny as it was built up to be. The guests are weird, but not quite as funny as they could have been. The final act of the film is also plagued by the same problem a lot of comedies have – the inevitable ‘serious scenes’. As soon as Barry and Tim have their touching moment the wheels start coming off of the cart. Finally, the actual dinner is also a relatively short part of this nearly 2 hour film. I think the film could have been cut down by a half hour and you hopefully would have been left with just the best jokes. It could have been a tighter paced plot. Matters also aren’t helped by the fact that the trailers and commercials show most of the best jokes from this film.

I’d really only recommend “Dinner for Schmucks” to fans of Carrell, Rudd, Galafanakis and Clement. Those fans will be most forgiving of the film’s faults and will get the biggest kick out of seeing these actors look like idiots for audiences. Everyone else will probably get bored with the plot and the long running time.

You’ll find the standard bonus features on the Blu-ray. They have outtakes, deleted scenes, and ‘making of’ featurettes. But the highlight is a featurette on the making of the mouse dioramas seen in the film. It’s funny to see how they were made and the thought process behind them.

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