Dinner for Schmucks, by David Guion
Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, David Walliams and other members of the cast of Dinner for Schmucks are phenomenal actors, comedians most of them, artists that have done brilliant work, for instance:
David Walliams in Little Britain, a hilarious comedy series, created by the star together with the other protagonist, Matt Lucas
Alas, all these dazzling, effervescent, enchanting performers do not manage to combine their efforts and deliver a satisfying feature for the audiences- 87,120 viewers have given only a rating of 5,9 on IMDB.
The Metascore is a lamentable 56 out of 100.
The very idea of the motion picture would seem preposterous, perhaps even offending in an age of political correctness, although the original on which this is based, Le Diner de Cons, might have worked better.
Tim aka Paul Rudd, is a young executive that wants to rise in the hierarchy, enjoys his Porsche, lavish apartment and fancy life style and has a chance to climb even faster when he finds Mueller, portrayed by David Walliams.
Mueller is worth many hundreds of millions – perhaps billions- and the company where Tim works would like to help him invest his fortune, making a big profit in the process, and the creative Tim has an unusual, interesting approach…
Lamps, interesting design , art are among the interests of the rich man and the message sent by the ambitious Tim gets the attention of his target and the knowledge that he had gained proves crucial in getting better acquainted, speculating on the latest acquisition, a Matisse which was bought at auction.
Nevertheless, in his private life, the hero is not so successful, in fact, his girlfriend is mad when she hears what her lover has in mind, to attend the Dinner for Schmucks, organized by the leaders of his company, where they invite idiots so that they can make fun at them.
Indeed, it is a very cruel proposition and it must be emphasized that the motion picture does not propose that we all take a wild ride and laugh till we drop on account of challenged people…
This is not exactly the open message!
However, there are scenes when viewers might find the shenanigans of Steve Carell as Barry humorous, ,even if this an awkward character, obsessed with mice to the extent where he jumps in front of the car driven by Tim to save a …dead one.
Following the accident, the exchange is so absurd and preposterous as to cause some mirth, even if not uproarious laughter, when the evidently rich driver talks about the damages and the silly Barry talks about figures in terms of…$ 5, then he moves on to ten thousand dollars…
Only he is not asking for the money to forget about lawyers, trial…he thinks that is what he would have to pay the owner of the Porsche, until the driver tells him to forget about the whole thing and they start talking about…mice.
The victim of the accident, now that he is standing up again, collects his things and shows his new friend a version of…The Last Supper, where all the protagonist are stuffed mice with beards.
As a symbol of their new born friendship, Barry gives his comrade the star of the Last supper, the little Jesus and he is invited to Dinner with friends, the day after tomorrow, only he shows a day earlier, as a shmuck would do, only to create so much trouble in the life of the rather obnoxious Tim.
His girlfriend is so mad at the project of the Shmucks gathering that they have a confrontation and she gets out, just as Barry comes in, a day early, pushes his friend to the floor, then calls a stalker and gives her the address and mistakes Tim’s partner for the intruding woman and makes her even angrier.
De gustibus non est disputandum
However, it seems this project is not worthwhile, even if one uses a large dose of tolerance and thinks of the supposed effort of educating mean individuals- men most likely- on the subject the cruelty of taking advantage of challenged humans who do not have the capacity to process so well.
Besides, one of the good points of the film might be that the offenders, the pretentious, presumed intelligent, high-ranking, successful executives are in fact the ones who demonstrate a multitude of flaws of character.
Their Emotional Intelligence- which new studies propose as more important than IQ- is at very low points, sometimes approaching zero and their effectiveness in society might be much lower than the people they want to ridicule and take advantage of, with all their misguided obsession with stuffed mice and replicas of the Last supper.