Here you go.

Dinner for Schmucks is my least favorite type of movie to review: the ones I don’t think are anything special but aren’t crummy enough to muster any strong anti-emotions either. These are B- movies, as well as the C+s of the “eh” variety (rather than the “holy cow, this wasn’t good, but parts of it were awfully fun to watch” type).

I will say, however, that I found the mice dioramas endlessly hilarious, the dinner shenanigans were great, and I see some promise from the writers, who pulled a lot of nice detail-oriented gags out of even their smallest characters. I’m interested in whatever they do next.

That, by the way, is one of the cooler parts of this job: since you see all kinds of junk you normally wouldn’t bother with even on video, you get a pretty broad look at who’s doing what in Hollywood right now. The names of many writers and directors don’t mean anything to most people, but sometimes I’ll see an obscure name and think “Oh yeah, no wonder this played like it was directed by a corpse. A corpse with poor artistic sensibility.” Or, alternately, “Ah, that’s why I liked this more than most critics, the guy who wrote The Departed did the script, dur.”

Not like I’ll remember the authors of Dinner for Schmucks three days from now. But when I watch their next project, check out their names, and see the credit for this one, I’ll have a slightly different perspective than if I’d never seen their intermittently funny but fairly generic comedy.

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