This was the film that made me want to add the stipulation to re-watch films from my Rotten Tomatoes days. Why? Because I gave this an 8/10 nine long years ago. Upon seeing that now, not only was I completely dumbfounded, but I was almost convinced I didn’t rate it. There’s absolutely no way I gave this an 8/10; I remember so little of it! So, the desire to submit myself to torture bore fruit, as it typically does, and I decided to make it one of the earlier re-watches.
It wasn’t fun.
On top of the current confusion in giving this a very good score, my old review also seems conflicted as to why it deserves such praise. The most praise given was that it “was so unbelievably stupid that it gave me a good laugh throughout the whole film.” Needless to say (probably) at this point, but watching this now made me laugh approximately zero times, while the eye squints were of a considerable amount.
Let me be honest: I didn’t even finish this through. I made it to about the 65-minute mark and quit, because life is beautiful and why waste it on this? The funniest part of the movie is that it’s hypocritical. It pleads a message that people shouldn’t make fun of people who are “special,” and that they have all the emotional wiring that makes such contempt cruel and disgusting. Yet what is the point of this film? To laugh as Steve Carell acts like an idiot and ruins Paul Rudd’s life, with an added point to not do exactly what you’re doing. The film has its cake and eats it, too; that’s what I find revolting.
Let me be more honest: I didn’t hate this film up to a certain point. The first thirty to forty minutes were… tolerable. A somewhat boring, somewhat goofy mix of troubled romance, a jealousy subplot, and Steve Carell’s character committing billions of crimes. It wasn’t until I realized that it was repeating the same joke continuously throughout, with no signs of stopping. Carell was gonna make Rudd miserable, and he will not leave him ever. Constantly making scenes as disastrous as possible is not something I find terribly funny, even if The Office had found ways to make it more picturesque. It’s like the casting firm hired Carell because it was him who made those moments what they are, and not the writers.
I figured to myself, “Well, I’ve seen this before, I remember the dinner scene, and the moral’s pretty clear, so why waste another second?” Nothing was hitting, nothing was connecting (after a point), and I could feel my cynicism boiling over. Dinner for Schmucks may not be a gross film to most, but it’s a gross film to me. Unbearably unfunny, unclever, unbelievable, and uninviting. I wouldn’t recommend it in good faith to anyone other than those that find Carell’s shtick pretty entertaining.
Final Score: 1/10
The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.
For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.