Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eternal Optometrist

The good news is that the titular gathering in Dinner for Schmucks lives up to its billing and is a very funny scene — perhaps the best in the entire movie. The bad news, however, is that the scene is not longer, and it takes almost an hour and a half to get to it. Until then, this film — about a guy (Paul Rudd) who must bring a loser (Steve Carell) to a dinner party in order to win a promotion — is only mildly amusing. Carell's character is weird, but I didn't find him to be the absurdly over-the-top weird, awkward loser that he's supposed to be. Jemaine Clement (from the late, lamented Flight of the Conchords) plays a character who'd have fit in better with the other wack jobs sitting around the table — particularly Zach Galifianakis' character, who is one of the film's highlights. Carell, however, despite his character's quirks, plays him with sweetness and heart. And when Rudd's character realizes the error of his ways, he's about an hour behind the rest of us. I'm giving Dinner for Schmucks a B–.

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