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Dinner for Schmucks Review

Updated on January 10, 2013
Dinner for Schmucks movie poster.
Dinner for Schmucks movie poster.
Carell's pride and joy, his "mousterpieces."
Carell's pride and joy, his "mousterpieces."
Carell and Rudd at the Dinner for Schmucks.
Carell and Rudd at the Dinner for Schmucks.

Starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, two comedic entities who meet by chance when Carell nearly decapitates Rudd as he is bent over picking up a dead mouse off of the cement. As luck would have it, they are destined for each other as Rudd is eagerly trying for a promotion with his company, but as a prerequisite there is one stipulation. He must attend the Dinner for Schmucks and bring along a guest, (Carell) who is acknowledged throughout the movie as the idiot who will be the brunt of all jokes at the dinner.

So, here’s to the latest slapstick comedy that will provide you with many moments of knee-slapping hysteria as Steve Carell does what he does best – acts like a fool – in Dinner with Schmucks.

In the film, Carell’s manic, frenzying character of Barry Speck, coincides (literally) with Tim Conrad, played by co-star Paul Rudd. The two are fantastic as they are hilarious onscreen and were previously seen together in Anchorman and the 40 Year Old Virgin .

The Storyline

The storyline behind this film is focused on Rudd-a hardworking financial executive climbing the promotional ladder of his company, when he spontaneously hits Carell with his car. Carell happily introduces his “mousterpieces” – the deceased, dolled up mice made into a presentational rectangular display for Rudd. Rudd has a revelation.

He realizes that Carell is the biggest idiot he will ever come across and the two attend the Dinner for Schmucks - the prerequisite for Carell in order to try for his new promotion. The moral of the story being that whoever brings the biggest idiot wins the promotion. The concept may sound a bit sadistic but acted out on camera it is quite funny as there is stupid funny, slapstick funny and logical funny all wound up into different segments of this movie. I’ll talk a bit about these three categories below.


Stupid Funny

Tim (Rudd): My back, my back, my back!

Barry (Carell): Is it your back?

This conversation would be severely lacking in the funny department if the second line was not said by the one and only Steve Carell. I somehow feel that Carell isn’t acting, that he truly is a simply hilarious human being. Carell-the award winning actor has the ability to make a dull moment into a comedic episode, which is super.

Clever Funny

Clever funny takes place when the dialogue incorporates meaning into it and perhaps a reference to something in real life, or another movie. When Paul Rudd’s face is stuck in the elevator, his reply is quite clever.

Tim (Rudd): I feel like I’m in the shining.

I laughed out loud at his reference to the film The Shining, and although I have not seen this film in it's entirety (nor do I plan to), I still can make the connection as his face is stuck there looking slightly pathetic and hilarious. I give kudos to Rudd who never fails to impress and for his priceless, cleverly, funny moments.

Check out Dinner for Schmucks

Slapstick Funny

Slapstick funny is the kind of humor that if being portrayed by anyone serious would be boring but with this duo of actors together, this kind of funny starts me off with a slight smile but then as the laughter builds momentum (as Carell laughs harder at the cute little chimp eating paper - it makes me do the same). This type of funny sometimes isn’t funny to some people who don’t have the proper mindset for it. Words such as lame may be used to describe their feelings towards this type of a funny scene.

For comedic movie viewers though - this type of humor causes immense pleasure, fun and relaxation and is cherished greatly.

Steve Carell being a goober in Dinner for Schmucks.
Steve Carell being a goober in Dinner for Schmucks.

More Fun for all you Steve Carell fans...

Other Carell films include Date Night, The 40 Year Old Virgin , Bruce and Evan Almighty , Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers , as well as brief cameos in Anchorman, Little Miss Sunshine, Knocked Up and Bewitched.

More Rudd Films:

I Love You, Man, Knocked Up, Role Models, and maybe you recognize him from his 1995 debut role in the film Clueless.

Sentimental Funny

If you are a Carell film fanatic, then likely you have picked up on his particular mannerisms, specifically the need for approval. He is a sentimental man who bares his heart and soul and isn’t afraid to show his weak side. In this film he lacks a social life and this could play a role in his need for companionship and constant harassment of Rudd throughout.

On a side note, in The 40 Year Old Virgin, Carell was also withdrawn and friendless, uncomfortable and socially awkwark, similar to his role in the film, Anchorman. Through his spoken and nonverbal mannerisms he becomes very comedic to watch as the viewer can identify with him since he oftentimes feels vulnerable and alone, traits everyone feels at one time or another.

Hub #3 of the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge.
Hub #3 of the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s been almost seven months since this film hit theatres, but I generally wait until movies leave the theatres and go out onto DVD and are available to get via RedBox. Simple, cheap and the best part is that if the movie is a blow – well, I think I will recover fast as it was only a dollar down the drain.

This movie didn’t produce an abundance of traffic and thus box office sales were low, but generally ratings don’t influence my movie decisions. If you haven’t seen it yet and you need a good laugh, I recommend you see Dinner for Schmucks .

This is my 3rd hub in the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge.


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    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      It is true. Rudd and Carell are fabulous. Thanks for the comment

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Great review. I love comedies-humor therapy is wonderful.

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Haha yeah these guys are great, glassvisage thanks for stopping by and reading my hub!

    • glassvisage profile image


      7 years ago from Northern California

      So many kinds of funny! I still haven't seen this movie, but it's definitely on my list! These two are great, along with their whole comedy crew :)

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks Doug! Love watching Steve Carell and Paul Rudd in films together.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This was a very informative article on a great movie. Nice Job!


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