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Dinner for Schmucks (2 stars)

Remake of 1998 film doesn't echo sentiments of original

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Dinner for Schmucks

(12A) 110min

On paper Jay Meet the Parents Roach’s new film sounds appetising. But this remake of Francis Veber’s passable 1998 French comedy Le dîner de cons squanders a cast headed by Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, and supported by Lucy Punch, David Walliams, Chris O’Dowd, US ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and The Hangover’s Zach Galifianakis.

Promotion-seeking executive Tim (Rudd) attempts to find a loser to compete at his boss’ ‘dinner for winners’, which rewards – and secretly belittles – the biggest oddball of the night. Tim is in with a chance, however, after meeting awkward tax agent Barry (Carell), a man with a penchant for creating artwork from dead mice. But as annoying as Barry becomes, Tim soon finds his loyalty tested.

Roach’s film isn’t without amusing moments, but it struggles to balance the eccentric and sentimental tenets of the original. A bloated running time also severely tests the patience.

General release, Fri 3 Sep.

Dinner for Schmucks trailer

Dinner for Schmucks

  • 2 stars
  • 2010
  • US
  • 114 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Jay Roach
  • Cast: Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, Jeff Dunham, Bruce Greenwood, Ron Livingston

With a stellar line-up of comedians, this remake of Veber's French comedy should go down easily. However, while the plot - executive seeks loser to humiliate at his boss' dinner for oddballs - suffices, unbalanced portions of eccentricity and sentimentality leave the viewer unsatisfied with the final serving.

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