By Saurin Parikh
In the first few moments of Dinner For Schmucks, I began to see a stark resemblance to the runaway comedy from Bollywood – Bheja Fry. A few more minutes into the movie and I started wondering if this was the first ever case of Hollywood copying Bollywood. Dinner For Schmucks is Bheja Fry, but, as I learned later, not a copy because both films are based on a play – The Dinner Game.
I’m sure there isn’t anyone in India who hasn’t already seen Bheja Fry a few times, and you don’t really need to be told the story. In Dinner For Schmucks, the corporate guy is Paul Rudd (as Tim Conrad), while the idiot that he’s taking to dinner so that his colleagues can make fun of him is Steve Carell (as Bary Speck). Both are good in their roles, Carell is immensely funny and they have some rib-tickling scenes together.
But overall, if you’ve seen Bheja Fry, then Dinner For Schmucks won’t feel as great. Since the two movies are based on the same play, comparisons are inevitable and Bheja Fry wins in every department – storytelling, acting and plotting. As a standalone, Dinner For Schmucks is still good. It is one of the better comedies to have come out of Hollywood of late. Director Jay Roach has done a good job, but somewhere down the line you feel the movie could have been so much funnier.
Still, I’ll give it 3 stars out of 5.