Blu-ray Review: Dinner for Schmucks

Dinner for Schmucks Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Paramount | DIRECTOR: Jay Roach | CAST: Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Jemaine Clement, Lucy Punch, Zach Galifianakis
RELEASE DATE: 1/4/2011 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $39.99
BONUSES: featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes
SPECS: PG-13 | 114 min. | comedy | 1.85:1 aspect ratio | DTS-HD 5.1 audio | English, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Dinner for Schmucks movie sceneA movie that at first glance might seem, well, kinda stupid, Dinner for Schmucks has a lot more heart than the title suggests.

The comedy tells the story of Paul Rudd’s (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) Tim, an executive who’s looking to get a promotion and gets the opportunity when he’s invited to bring an odd guest to his boss’ “Dinner for Schmucks.” The problem is, the odd guest he chooses, Steve Carell’s (TV’s The Office) Barry, who has a hobby of making art out of dead mice, turns out to be more than Tim bargained for.

Rudd and Carell make a great comedy team. Throw in Jemaine Clement (TV’s Flight of the Conchords) as an over-sexed artist, Lucy Punch (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) as Rudd’s crazy stalker, Stephanie Szostak (The Devil Wears Prada) as Rudd’s more serious girlfriend, Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek) as the host of the dinner for schmucks, Ron Livingston (Office Space) as Rudd’s competitive co-worker and Zach Galifianakis (Youth in Revolt) as a bigger schmuck than Barry, and you’ve got a movie filled with laughs — many of them uncomfortable and/or silly, but still funny.

The film also comes from a director with comedy pedigree, Jay Roach (Meet the Parents and the Austin Powers movies), and his touch can be seen in Dinner for Schmucks.

Paramount keeps things light in the Blu-ray’s special features. Rudd, Carell, Clement and others joke around in the behind-the-scenes featurette “The Biggest Schmucks in the World.” It’s obvious everyone had fun on the set, and it’s fun to watch.

And there’s more from the movie’s “schmucks” in “Meet the Winners,” in which the actors playing the dinner’s strange guests ham it up in character. Sometimes it can be quite disturbing.

The disc also offers deleted scenes and funny outtakes (or “Schmuck Ups”). But fans who fell in love with Barry’s adorable mouse dioramas (which are featured in the Blu-ray menu) will most enjoy the featurette “The Men Behind the Mousterpieces.” In it, we meet the three Chiodo brothers, who specialize in models and created the fun mini statues. In fact, according to Roach, more attention was given to how those mice would look than any other single aspect of the film. It obviously paid off.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.