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Dinner for Schmucks…

August 3, 2010

…Intermittently funny. My mom and I kept having what we call “Lucy Moments.” This term derives from those moments when, watching an episode of I Love Lucy, Lucy does something so spectacularly ill-advised and stupid that you have to cover your eyes or leave the room in sympathetic embarrassment. From the moment that Paul Rudd hits Steve Carrell with his car, these moments come thick and fast.

The dinner portion in Dinner for Schmucks only took up about a fourth of the movie, if that, and full of characters that we didn’t get to see enough of (Chris O’Dowd’s blind fencer anyone?)The rest of the movie was entirely comprised of one horrifyingly awful situation after another, my favorite being when Barry (Carrell) awkwardly intercepts an IM from a woman that Tim (Paul Rudd) had had a one-night stand with years back, which (of course!) led to her showing up at Tim’s apartment and wreaking unspeakable shenanigans involving spanking and schoolgirl fantasies all over his business. Lucy Punch, the actress playing said crazy stalker, is an actress that I’ve only seen in Hot Fuzz and an episode of Poirot (where she played a missionary who was sleeping with her cousin. GASP.) She is a perfectly charming actress that I will now never be able to look at again.

The major bright spot for me was Jemaine Clement as Kieran, the artist that Tim’s beautiful and mildly exotic girlfriend Julie represents.* Kieran is hilarious and pompous and totally in control of his schtick, which somehow never wore thin the way that Barry’s did. In this day and age of sensitive spectrum diagnoses it was awkward to see a character who was clearly not stupid so much as actually mentally delayed in some way be the butt of so very many sex jokes. (He couldn’t find the clitoris of his horrible ex-wife! He suggested that she had put it in her purse! Hilarity!)

I did do a lot of laughing in this movie. I don’t want to make it sound like it was just one big cringe-fest, but I did cringe a lot, and actually had to leave the theater when a hilarious phone mixup (Their phones look just the same! IT IS SO EASY TO MIX UP PHONES IN THIS DAY AND AGE!) caused Barry AND the horrible Darla to join Tim and his potential new clients at brunch, only to have Julie show up mid-proposal. So very, very awkward. These Swiss clients, played by David Walliams and Lucy Davenport with scary blue-eyed perfection, were also sadly underutilized.

Ve do not understand vat is going on here.
I’ve also had a debate with my parents over the proper translation of the title of the original French movie, Le Diner de Cons. An article in the Houston Chronicle said that this title contained both “idiot” and the French word for, presumably, “cunt.” I disagree. I seem to remember that “cons” was a word for idiots. Any of the three people who read this blog who know something about this are welcome to raise their hands and provide clarification. IMPORTANT ISSUES.
*I wish that the movie hadn’t ended with her losing her chance at a big museum show in San Francisco only because she got back with Tim. Spoiler alert! in case you’ve never seen a romantic comedy ever!
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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2010 2:20 am

    Babelfish agrees with you, for what it's worth.

  2. August 4, 2010 2:21 am

    This is Alon, by the way, in case you've never seen my usual internet handle before.

  3. August 4, 2010 4:21 pm

    Well, if Babelfish agrees with me, I must be right. 🙂 Hi alon!

  4. Anon permalink
    September 9, 2010 1:33 am

    I know this is delayed (I just found your blog), but you are right. “Il est con” would translate to “he’s an idiot,” although the former is much more deragatory. I do have to wonder, though, if “con” could translate to c*nt if it were a feminine word.

    (To say c*nt in French, just add a “te” to the word for cat, and make it feminine, as in “tu veux voir ma ch–te?”)

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