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Something of a classic in France, the "original" Dinner For Schmucks, Francis Veber's Le Diner De Cons, was, it must be said, overrated to begin with. French to US film adaptations are never a great success but occasionally you do get something that's at the very least about as decent as the original (Three Fugitives, Father's Day). And although Diner De Cons did the job, there was definitely room for improvement.

And to be fair, Dinner For Schmucks does really well to fix some of the original's flaws. For one thing, you actually get to SEE the titular dinner! And it is gloriously ridiculous. Plus, whereas the original felt a bit too stagy and claustrophobic, Schmucks is on a sugar rush and never stops for a second. Which is also its main flaw, but we'll get to that.

In terms of the cast, this is as good as a comedy of that type can hope for: Rudd, Galifianakis, Carell, Clement, Walliams... Everyone has a ball and everyone does a great job at making fleeting characters full-blown goofballs. Sure the subtlety of Veber's film is lost but instead what we get is complete madness, which is fine by me. :)

Schmucks may have gone further than its French predecessor with the same premise, and rightfully so, but alas it goes that little bit too far. This is an old-fashioned slapstick farce which mostly works but at two hours long, it gets a little too much pretty quickly: not all the jokes work, the core romance is once again underwritten and feels tacked-on when it should have been key but when you've got Jemaine Clement as a stud artist who dresses up as mythical beasts in his own apartment, Zach Galifianakis as a mind-control freak with a cape and David Walliams as a Swiss Billionnaire jerk, who really cares about subtlety and logic? Now I'm no idiot but I know when to shut my brain off when required!

Dinner For Schmucks is about as good as the source material but a very different movie. Whereas the original was a stagy one-on-one with a majority of phone pranks-style gags and quiproquos, the remake is randomness full-throttle with a cast of buffoons like no other. Overall, it is quite simply underrated and great fun. 

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