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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Movie Review -- The Dinner Game
Le Dîner de cons (1998, French with subtitles, English title: The Dinner Game)

The Dinner Game is a very very funny comedy. The premise is simple. Pierre is a successful narcissistic jerk. Every week he and his friends organize a dinner party in which each one has to invite the dumbest idiot they can find. They spend the evening eating and showing off their idiot, and having a lot of fun at their guests' expense.

Pierre is very excited because this week he's invited François, a well-meaning but bumbling fool who tells everyone who'll listen about the models he builds out of matchsticks. François is sure to make Pierre the winner of this week's dinner game. But then, on the day of the dinner, Pierre throws his back out, and his wife leaves him, and the rest is a plot as convoluted and well-written as the best Seinfeld episode.

Because the premise is so mean, I worried that it wouldn't be funny. You can't laugh at a character who is being cruelly made fun of. The genius of the writing is that the situation stops just short of meanness. The laughs are just as frequently on Pierre and his snooty friends as on François. Add to that good acting by the whole cast, and ball-and-chain and I were laughing through all of it.
Oui c'etait une filme tres drole. (imagine the accents on the e in tres and on the o in drole)

(yes, it was a very funny film)

I recall seeing it a few years ago and thinking it should be called "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner -- Next Week?"
You'll be happy to know that this movie is being remade with a new title: Dinner for Schmucks. And your pal Sacha Baron Cohen - aka Ali G - has been cast. Don't know if he's the chief schmuck or not.
Torontopearl: I have a feeling we like the same kind of comedies.

Ralphie: You're kidding! (followed the link... No. You're not kidding.) Sacha Cohen makes it a little scary, because, like I said, the story tiptoes right up to the line of being too mean. I can imagine Sacha Cohen crossing that line and ending up with something not funny.
Good blog. Keep it running!
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