Yesterday morning when I woke up I noticed an email from gofobo inviting me to an advance screening of the upcoming comedy Dinner for Schmucks. Both Lindsey and I have been looking forward to this movie from the exceptionally funny trailers, so it was a pleasant surprise, especially considering that most of the invitations I receive from gofobo are for movies I have absolutely no interest in.
We arrived at the theater a little over two hours early, and discovered a line that wrapped around the building already in place. Sighing in exasperation, we parked and joined the line. Luckily, the couple behind us shared similar interests, so the two hours went by very comfortably as we were immersed in entertaining conversation. About half an hour before the start of the movie, we found ourselves in the theater taking our seats. Time passed somewhat more comfortably due to the air conditioned environment and well-cushioned chairs. We awaited the start of the movie.
The movie itself is just under two hours long, and is, for the most part, entertaining. It is also extremely awkward; almost uncomfortably so, as our new friends pointed out afterwards. The titular dinner doesn’t start until an hour and a half into the movie, and only lasts 20 minutes. This is absolutely the best 20 minutes of the movie. All of the main characters and supporting characters (except for Jermaine Clement’s wonderful Kieran) really shine during this 20 minutes of unbridled idiocy. If you’ve seen the trailers, you haven’t seen all of it, but you have seen some of the best bits, such as the imaginary fight between Steve Carell and Zach Galifianakis. All of the actors turn in excellent performances, but the true star, in my opinion, is not Steve Carell’s idiot, or Paul Rudd’s straight man, but Jermaine Clement’s expressionist artist Kieran. The character is very well written, and perfect for Jermaine Clement and all of the weird animal magnetism that he possesses. David Walliams, of Little Britain fame, was believable as a Swiss millionaire, Ron Livingston, of Office Space fame, was a very believable asshole, and Lucy Punch was fucking crazy.
While Dinner for Schmucks was far from my favorite movie of the year (to date), it was still a very enjoyable trip to the theater, compounded by the fact that it was free, and an advance screening. If you’ve already seen Inception, Toy Story 3, Grown Ups, etc, then go see Dinner for Schmucks this weekend. There are worse ways to spend two hours of your life.
-[insert I RELEASE YOU! here]