Dinner For Schmucks (12A)

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The Independent Culture

Francis Veber's 1998 Le Dîner de Cons was no great shakes, but it looks almost classy next to this atrocious remake.

Paul Rudd plays a corporate analyst who, desperate for promotion, agrees to join in a nasty little game – his boss holds a regular dinner in which employees compete over who can bring along the biggest buffoon. Steve Carell, as a galumphing drone whose hobby is displaying stuffed mice in elaborate tableaux, looks like a dead-cert for the title. The slapstick is gruesomely overemphatic, and one is agonised to watch Carell mug and gurn to such paltry effect. The set-piece finale of humiliation is so confused it's hard to know who's the butt – the "schmucks", the corporates, or the audience. Probably all three.

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