Let’s say you were invited to a dinner, but not just any dinner. This is a dinner for idiots and at the conclusion of the meal, you’d have to stand up in front of the entire party and give a presentation to prove the superiority of your idiocy. What would you do?
Stephanie Szostak would resort to her ability to magically raise the corner of her lip with an invisible string. Lucy Punch would take it up a notch and do a little something that would involve her whole body. “I might demonstrate how extremely flexible I am and do some weird contortionist body shapes,” she revealed. “Eating with my feet, through my arms, over my head.” Larry Wilmore would take his show in a completely different direction, “I am going to anti-schmuck it. That’s how I become the schmuckiest cleverest schmuck. They think I’m going to do something schmucky, but then I fool them and I don’t do anything.”
It’s a good thing none of them play a schmuck in Dinner for Schmucks because none of that could compare to a woman who has a conversation with a lobster, a blind swordsman, a ventriloquist with a flirty puppet or a guy who spends his time with a live vulture.
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When studios are delivering buddy comedy after buddy comedy, each one better bring a little something new to the table on top of pouring on the humor. Dinner for Schmucks serves up big time when it comes to novelty; it’s the humor that’s on the sour side.
Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd) is doing pretty well for himself. He drives a Porsche and lives in a gorgeous apartment with his loving girlfriend, but being a sixth floor analyst for Fender Financial just isn’t good enough. He wants to be on the seventh floor with the big boys. Tim actually gets his chance after a gutsy play for a vacant spot, but before the seventh floor office can officially be his, he must participate in a company tradition, a dinner for idiots. Each analyst must bring a guest and at the end of the night, the one whose lunacy is the most entertaining, wins.
That’s where Barry Speck (Steve Carell) comes in. Just when Tim’s conscience is about to compel him to ditch the dinner thing completely, Tim literally runs into Barry. It doesn’t take long for Tim to determine Barry, an IRS employee and mouse taxidermist, is certifiably insane and the perfect candidate for dinner. The problem is, Barry’s also a leech and attaches himself to Tim for the days leading up to the dinner. During that time Barry manages to chase away Tim’s girlfriend, trash his apartment, invite his crazy ex back into his life and have Tim audited.
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