Dinner for Shmucks comes out today starring Paul Rudd and Steve Carell, who recently left the hit TV show The Office to spend more time with his kids. In the film, Tim (played by Paul) is a rising executive who must find someone for his boss’s “dinner for idiots,” which offers rewards for whoever shows up with the biggest moron. Barry (Steve) is just that moron.
Judging by the previews, the movie certainly looks hilarious and the two stars have proven their comedy chops over and over again. So how are the reviews? Critics are mixed:
AP: “Whereas The Dinner Game from celebrated writer-director Francis Veber was a tight, sharp satire of societal pretension, this remake seems more interested in easy, broad slapstick.”
San Fransisco Chronicle: “It’s funny from the beginning, and it stays funny, even as it beats scenes to death and overstays its welcome.”
LA Times: “Against all reason and expectation, the result is a distinctly unfunny film.”
Boston Globe: “A number of bits don’t work, some of the characters wear out their welcome, but the whole suckers you into an agreeable state of idiot bliss.”
Entertainment Weekly: “A bland, summer-sloppy comedy that never risks actually swimming with schmucks and letting characters bruise themselves on outcroppings of mean fun.”
Chicago Sun Times: “The genius of this version depends on the performance by Steve Carell, who plays Barry Speck as a man impervious to insult and utterly at peace with himself. He’s truly a transcendent idiot.”
Variety: “An uproarious odd-couple remake of Francis Veber’s hit French farce The Dinner Game.”
Will you go see it?