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“Reel reviews for real people

Plot – Tim (Rudd) is a rising executive who succeeds in finding the “perfect” guest, IRS employee Barry (Carell), for his boss’s monthly event, a so called “dinner for idiots,” which offers certain advantages to the exec who shows up with the biggest buffoon. (dinner for

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Stephanie Szostak, Zach Galifianakis

Director: Jay Roach

Running time: 1:50

Kate says: “I am away on an adventure to my high school reunion and am unable to attend my advance screenings for the next few weeks. Hopefully I can catch this one over the weekend because this one looks funny and I am in the mood for a good laugh. Anyone headed to a 30 year reunion needs a good laugh, don’t you think? Heehee! I’ll add my 2 cents worth when I see it, but in the mean time, check out what some of my most trusted reviewers have to say.”

Ebert says – 3 stars “The truly goofy comes shrouded in innocence. If a man is trying to be goofy, it’s just an act that quickly grows old. But if he lacks the slightest notion of his peculiarity, there’s the secret. The blissful ignorance of Barry Speck is beyond pitiful and ascends to a kind of nobility. He’s one of those who truly doesn’t have a clue…The genius of this version depends on the performance by Steve Carell, who plays Barry Speck as a man impervious to insult and utterly at peace with himself. He’s truly a transcendent idiot.” (read full review)

Eric Snider says – “B-” ” The reason Hollywood tends to mess up farce is that Hollywood is inclined to water things down, to soften the blow, to make movies as appealing to as many people as possible. That’s the business. Given the choice between making a film that thousands of people love and one that millions of people like, studios will usually choose the second one…it’s why “Dinner for Schmucks” isn’t nearly as good as it ought to be. It’s a farce that can’t resist trying to make its characters lovable and sympathetic. It wants to have its cake and eat it, too, then get some of the icing all over its face in a comical fashion, and then make you reflect on the foibles of mankind while everybody hugs.” (read full review)

Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) – 2 1/2 stars “When Hollywood decides to remake French farce by Francis Veber, the result can be a champagne cocktail (La Cage Aux Folles spawning The Birdcage) or pâté de merde (Les Compères degenerating into Father’s Day). Dinner for Schmucks, adapted from Veber’s Le Dîner De Cons, falls somewhere in the middle. What makes the soufflé rise is the actors. Steve Carell is a comic wonder as the film’s No. 1 schmuck.” (read full review)

Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly) says – “C” “No schmucks were harmed in the making of Dinner for Schmucks. That’s the problem. The promising crudeness of the title, along with the combined talents of stars Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, suggests that at some point, surely, someone will rise to the occasion and behave with unrepentant obnoxiousness. But in a rare tonal misfire, director Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents) delivers a bland, summer-sloppy comedy that never risks actually swimming with schmucks and letting characters bruise themselves on outcroppings of mean fun. Instead, he has decided to sand away all the sharp edges. What’s left is a nice, safe comedy of tolerance and repentance — a subpar Carell-and-Rudd odd-couple buddy movie (read full review)

Other movie reviews by Kate

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