Dinner for Schmucks movie review: Tim (Paul Rudd) only scores a promotion if he finds an idiot to be mocked at a secret dinner, a concept Tim’s girlfriend (Stephanie Szostak) really doesn’t like. Tim wants to support her and move up, so for the occasion he recruits Barry (Steve Carell), a socially awkward IRS employee who makes dioramas with stuffed dead mice.
The buzz: Director Jay Roach (the “Austin Powers” and “Fockers” franchises) probably doesn’t have the light touch needed to make a comedy inspired by a French farce (“Le Diner de Cons”). Rudd’s always appealing, though, and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” really could use company on Carell’s list of big-screen wins.
The verdict: Call it “I Don’t Love You, Man.” Carell’s subtle charm can’t prevent Barry from being an irritating thorn in the paw of a film that has far too many misunderstandings and scenes of people walking in at just the wrong time. And let’s just ignore Tim’s stalker (Lucy Punch). The laughs keep “Schmucks” alive, benefiting from Jermaine Clement’s over-the-top artist Kieran but not from Barry’s boss played by Zach Galifianakis, who still thinks a beard and a weird voice are enough to make him funny. Thank goodness for Rudd, who could play a dumpster and make it charming, and a few surprising moments of heart, like the sad vision of a mouse forced to eat cheese alone. Source: Metromix
Box Office: The film made $8.4 million on its first day, ranking number two at the box office, behind Inception. The film earned $23,300,000 on its opening weekend, placing it second overall for the weekend of July 30 to August 1.