Dinner for Schmucks (M)
Stars: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd
Much has been written about the alleged meanness of spirit behind this film.
The theme – of wealthy snobs who invite lower-class idiots to dinner to mock them – does potentially set the scene for some unabridged nastiness.
But in reality, it’s a modern morality play.
America’s favourite idiot, Steve Carell, plays off against obligatory straight man Paul Rudd. As Barry, the village idiot, Carell infiltrates Rudd’s life and wreaks a terrible vengeance.
You would expect nothing less from a character who is employed by the tax department and whose hobby is stuffing and mounting mice.
Watch for the final, apocalyptic dinner in which chaos ensues.
Predictably, the nerds come out on top.
But most of all, watch for Zach Galifianakis, of ‘The Hangover’ fame, in an absolutely jaw-dropping role as Barry’s taxation department boss.
Aided by some brilliant camera work, Galifianakis steals every scene he’s in as – wait for it – a tax inspector whose principal interest is mind control.
Galifianakis brings to the screen one of the most outlandish and memorable characters of recent years, truly inhabiting the role.
With a range of bizarre characters and some laugh out loud moments, Dinner for Schmucks is a little overlong, a little sloppy and undisciplined, but is still well worth the ride. – Jason Beck