Dinner for Schmucks | Chicago Reader

Dinner for Schmucks

In a New Yorker profile of Steve Carell, writer Tad Friend described the endless filmed improvisation that goes into the average big-studio comedy these days, and his piece goes a long way toward explaining why so many of these movies stink: once written by wits like Ruth Gordon, Garson Kanin, and I.A.L. Diamond, American comedies are now ad-libbed by lightweights like Jason Segel and Owen Wilson. This remake of the French farce The Dinner Game (1998) is a perfect example of the modern comedy mill gone wrong, a prolonged muddle whose plot, specific situations, and improvised quips never line up. Corporate climber Paul Rudd, invited to an exclusive dinner where each guest is required to bring along a fool for ridicule, recruits prize dork Carell, who makes little dioramas with stuffed rodents. Jay Roach of the Austin Powers franchise directed; with Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, and Lucy Punch.

Credits

Director:

  • Jay Roach

Cast:

  • Steve Carell
  • Paul Rudd
  • Bruce Greenwood
  • Ron Livingston
  • Jemaine Clement
  • Jeff Dunham
  • Stephanie Szostak
  • Lucy Davenport
  • Lucy Punch
  • David Walliams
  • Zach Galifianakis
  • Rick Overton
  • Octavia Spencer
  • Larry Wilmore
  • Patrick Fischler
  • Andrea Savage

Producers:

  • Walter F. Parkes
  • Laurie MacDonald
  • Jay Roach
  • Francis Veber
  • Amy Sayres
  • Sacha Baron Cohen
  • Gary Barber
  • Roger Birnbaum

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