Dinner for Schmucks (2010)

Rated: PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language.
Length: 114 minutes
Grade: FCBF=F+
Budget: $69 million
Box Office: $97 million (73 U.S., 13 Intl., 11 DVD)

Written by: David Guion & Michael Handelman (The Ex), based on the French film by Francis Veber.
Directed by: Jay Roach (Meet the Parents series and the Austin Powers series. )
Starring: Steve Carell and Paul Rudd
With: Zach Galifianakis, Stephanie Szostak, Ron Livnigston, and Bruce Greenwood.

An aspiring financial manager needs to find an odd person to bring to his boss’s annual dinner for losers.

Entertainment Value: F
The problems here were three-fold. First, it’s not funny. That’s the main problem. Second, they don’t actually get to the dinner until ¾ of the way through the movie, and that part was somewhat funny, although my wife theorized that by that point in the movie we were so starved for humor that anything even close to funny would have gotten us to laugh. Third, Paul Rudd, one of the funniest actors around, was written into a script with no jokes for him at all.

Superficial Content: C
Drugs/Alcohol A, Sex/Nudity C-, Violence C, Language C-
Mostly everything here to object about is sexual discussion, some sexual scenes for humor, and language. Definitely PG-13.

Significant Content: B
The irritating thing about this movie is that in spite of its unfunniness, it is at least trying to sell a decent message, even if that message is obvious from the beginning. People (even obnoxious, stupid, ridiculous people) are still people and deserve to be treated with dignity. The most beautiful person outside (money, power, intelligence, social savvy) is a monster if he doesn’t treat the people with the ugliest outsides decently. Loyalty, kindness, honor, and honesty are the premiere virtues. You’ve heard of a good movie ruined by a terrible ending? This is a good ending ruined by a terrible movie.

Artistic/Thought Value: F
Overall Grade: F+
If ever there was a movie with dinner in its title and yet less about a dinner than this, I’ve never heard of it. Oh, and in case I wasn’t lucidly clear: not funny.

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