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Dinner for Schmucks - 5Star

Paul Rudd takes Steve Carell for a fool
(Image credit: Photography by: Merie Weismiller Wallace SMPSP)

Paul Rudd and Steve Carell shine brightly in a sharp-toothed comedy. 3/5 stars

Don't miss the surreal opening credits for this comedy, as they set the tone for the mayhem to come brilliantly.

Rudd plays Tim - a mid-level corporate executive who gets a chance for promotion when his boss invites him to an exclusive dinner party.

The mean-minded catch is that he must bring someone with a ‘special talent' for the other guests to ridicule. He's not really sold on the idea (because he's a nice guy), but when he runs into creative taxidermist Barry (Steve Carell), he cannot help thinking he's found the ideal candidate.

Then, of course, Barry proceeds to turn Tim’s life upside-down.

An American remake of the French movie Le Diner de cons, this is quite absurd, totally over the top and very silly, rising above its rather nasty premise. 

David Walliams has a small role as a Swiss businessman and Zach Galifianakis, Lucy Punch, Bruce Greenwood, Chris O’Dowd and Jemaine Clement are among the other familiar faces.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.