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Dinner for Schmucks | 2010 | PG-13 | - 6.5.5

In a remake of the 1998 French farce "The Dinner Game," a powerful businessman (Bruce Greenwood) encourages his employees to gather social misfits for the company's monthly Dinner for Idiots, so that his executives can use them for sport. One company man (Paul Rudd) thinks he's found the perfect idiot (Steve Carell), for entertaining his boss and an overseas client. However, in the resulting chaos it is difficult to recognize the businessmen from the idiots. Also with Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Savage, Jemaine Clement, Jeff Dunham and Ron Livingston. Directed by Jay Roach. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A man sits at a computer at a friend's apartment, a woman on a chat program logs on, the man answers, and the woman sends a picture of nude female buttocks wearing thong underwear with the words, "Are you touching yourself?"
 A woman arrives at an apartment (she is wearing a leather bustier and long pants that reveal significant cleavage and lower back), kisses a man twice, first sticking her tongue out and plunging it into his mouth, and then licks his fingers; she demands that another man spanks her, he does, she continues to spank herself, he spanks himself and dances, and she places a cell phone in the groin area of her pants and one of the men speaks into it.
 A man and a woman kiss and caress each other's arms and thighs. A man and a woman kiss briefly several times.
 A man tells a woman that he must leave for another country alone, because they have a sexual fire that is waiting to explode.
 A man films art scenes with himself and two women, all wearing nothing but feathers over their genital area and over the women's nipples; the man wears several feathers to cover part of his buttocks as well, the women are painted blue from shoulder to knee and we see full frontal and back nudity except for the covered areas. A female ventriloquist's dummy is dressed in a low-cut blouse that reveals most of her breasts, including half of one bare nipple; the dummy asks a man next to her if he is looking down her blouse, he says no and she asks, "Why not?" A painting of a man with a bare chest shows a black snake with protruding tongue where the penis would be.
 A man states that his forefinger is his wife's favorite finger (implying sexual gratification) and later we see a small gold statute of the finger engraved with the words, "My Wife's Favorite Finger."
 A man wearing boxer shorts plays African drums as he makes faces in a mirror, does pelvic thrusts, and looks at his chest and back (we see him from the waist-up nude, front and back). Several women wear low-necked tops and blouses that reveal significant cleavage at dinner parties. Several women wear short shirts that reveal partial thighs.
 A man in an office shouts and demands that a second man say, "You can eat my pudding"; the second man refuses, and we learn that "pudding" is the nickname of the second man's wife and she left him for the other man. At a brunch with two couples and another man a woman writes with lipstick, "I'm wet" on a napkin and passes it to a man, who passes it on to another man, who passes it on to a third man (each man reads the napkin and grimaces). A man that does not understand the meaning of "curate" uses it to mean "sex" a dozen times. A woman in an office asks a man, "Do you know how hard it is to get laid when you smell like coleslaw?" A man tells another man several times that the second man's fiancée left in order to have sex with other men. Men in an office accuse each other of having prostitutes instead of girlfriends. Gonorrhea is mentioned 8 times and we learn that one man suffers from it because his wife was repeatedly unfaithful; a related conversation involves this man not knowing what a clitoris is.
 A man is stalked by a woman with whom he had sex one time three years previously, she fills in for his absent fiancée at a brunch meeting and he proposes to her under threat of losing a business deal. A man and a woman are living together, she refuses to marry him when he asks, and she becomes disgruntled and moves out.
 Shadow boxes of dollhouse scenes contain professionally stuffed mice in costume and show couples dating and in one scene, a male and a female sitting up in bed with a second male hiding under the bed; another scene shows a female mouse in a dress, sitting in bed, with white arrows taped along the floor for a male mouse to follow to her.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man hits a second man with his car, and the second man lies on his back in the street, but jumps up unhurt and picks up a stiff, dead mouse from the street. A woman confronts two men in their car, severely beats and damages the car using a metal stand from a velvet rope divider and plunges its point through the car roof, between the men.
 A blind fencer cuts off the finger of a man and a vulture snatches it and runs away with it. A blind fencer cuts lighted candles with a swing of his sword and the candles set a house on fire: we see a lot of smoke and fire and a hook and ladder truck arrive as people run out onto the lawn and the scene ends. A blind fencer rises and swings his sword many times during a dinner, narrowly missing men and women.
 We see a woman with bloody teeth after she accidentally runs into a doorjamb. We see paintings of an artist and film clips of performance art in which he has bloody teeth.
 A man pulls his friend free from an elevator door that has closed on his arm; the freed man falls on his back and shouts in pain, then continues to shout and grimace, walks stiffly, dons a back brace and later, his friend cracks his back and relieves the pain. A film clip of a log on chains swings into a man in a padded suit, knocking him down.
 A man yells about having mind control powers, another retorts about brain control, and they have a fake "Star Wars" light saber battle, with their own sound effects.
 At a formal dinner, a man falls, and slides formal china and glassware off the table and we see and hear it breaking with loud crashes. A woman and a man chase each other around his friend's apartment, breaking vases, glass shelving and a bottle of wine; he abruptly plays dead and she leaves. A man breaks a stained glass window with a heavy sealed bottle of wine.
 A man with a pet vulture intimidates others by looking at them. A woman writhes and screams as she "hears" the voices of dead animals prepared for the meal that's on the table. A man plays dead whenever he is frightened or embarrassed (several times in the film).
 A man points to another man and says, "I will kill you!" An artist says that he reached into a pregnant zebra's vagina to help her birth a foal and used the afterbirth as paint in a portrait. Two men argue with each other throughout the film, raising their voices several times. A man and a woman argue several times about respect and honesty. A man and his secretary discuss that dead dreams smell like overcooked cabbage and coleslaw.
 During a business meeting, we see an old bomb on a table, and then another one made into a lamp (the bombs are disarmed).
 Dozens of shadow boxes of dollhouse scenes contain professionally stuffed mice, usually smiling, in brightly colored costumes at picnics, in restaurants and at home watching TV: one scene shows a male mouse crying as he looks at a portrait of a female mouse, and one scene a Van Gogh Mouse painting shows a bandage with a bit of blood where the artist's ear used to be.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 3 F-words, 1 obscene hand gesture, 30 sexual references, 11 scatological terms, 21 anatomical references, 15 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiots, fools, Miss Fancy Pants, losers, mean guy, ridiculous, hooker, douche, tornado of destruction), stereotypical references to accountants, artists, models, athletes, intelligent people, shy people, businessmen, single men, single women, the blind, ventriloquists, prostitutes, the Swiss and Switzerland, all foreigners, 23 religious profanities, 13 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man says that a note stating, "I'm going to the ranch" means that two people are going to use heroin, marijuana, wine and beer (we see none of this). Several miniature bottles of wine appear in dollhouse tableaus, glasses of champagne and wine sit on tables (no one drinks), four men in an office hold short glasses of whiskey and one takes a sip, a woman drinks whiskey and wine at her desk during work, many men and women hold tall glasses of champagne at a gallery showing (no one drinks), two men talk about a third man and a woman drinking, at a dinner party glasses of wine are present at each place setting (no one drinks), and a man uses sealed wine bottles to break windows. In a dollhouse, a stuffed female mouse smokes a tiny Meerschaum pipe with a fake puff of smoke is glued on it.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Cohabitation, relationships, love, adultery, using people for entertainment, people that are different, loneliness, cruelty, ambition, integrity, compassion, and honesty.

MESSAGE - The real idiots might be the people that assume that others are idiots.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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