Dinner for Schmucks Not Quite a Gut-Buster
Steve Carell's schmuck praised in remake of French farce
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2010 7:23 AM CDT

(Newser) Dinner for Schmucks has a great premise and two top comic stars in Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, say critics, though opinions split widely on whether it's actually funny.

  • The remake of a French farce in which heartless execs compete to bring the biggest loser to dinner "is lumbering, inconsistent, and about 20 minutes too long, but it's funny," decides Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's funny from the beginning, and it stays funny, even as it beats scenes to death and overstays its welcome."

  • The movie has "everything money can buy," including a top cast and lavish sets, but "that does not include comic inspiration, daring or velocity," complains Colin Covert at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, labeling it "flabby, monotonous, and meek."
  • Dinner for Schmucks is "outstanding"—and hilarious—thanks to Steve Carell's performance as a schmuck," writes Bill Goodykoontz at the Arizona Republic. The Office star, he argues, is "the best comic actor working today.
  • The French hit hasn't translated too well, writes Christy Lemire at the AP. The original was a "tight, sharp satire of societal pretension, " she writes, but "this remake seems more interested in easy, broad slapstick."

 

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