movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: Directed by Jay Roach (Meet The Parents, Meet The Fockers, Austin Powers 1-3). Starring Paul Rudd as the straight guy, and Steve Carell as the schmuck (was originally going to be Sasha Baron Cohen).

With Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Tim And Eric Awesome Show,Great Job, What Happens In Vegas) as the IRS douchebag schmuck, Jemaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords) as the pretentious artist, Stephanie Szostak as the girlfriend, Lucy Punch (Hot Fuzz, St. Trinian’s 2007) as the crazy stalker, and Kristen Schaal (Flight Of The Conchords, Get Him To The Greek, Toy Story 3, Shrek 4, Kate & Leopold, Freak Show, and 1 ep of Xavier:Renegade Angel and Aqua Teen Hunger Force) as the secretary.

Also with David Walliams (Prince Caspian, 1 ep of Spaced) as a ridiculous German investor, and Lucy Davenport (Gangs Of New York) as his wife. Bruce Greenwood (Capt. Pike in the Star Trek reboot, The President in National Treasure 2, I,Robot, Exotica, Batman in the Young Justice cartoon, 3 eps of Larry Sanders, Knots Landing, St. Elsewhere) as the Big Boss. Ron Livingston (Office Space, Adaptation, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Swingers, Sling Blade) as the snarky co-worker. Octavia Spencer (Halfway Home, American Virgin 2000, Drag Me To Hell) as another dinner guest I recognized.

So it’s a great cast.

PLOT SUMMARY: Rising worker cog must attend dinner with fancy snobby bosses. The requirement is to bring one idiot that everyone can subtly make fun of without the idiot realizing. But this is just the framing plot for the bigger issue in his life: Getting his girlfriend to finally agree to marrying him. But even that is just the framing plot for a LOT OF WACKY STUFF to end up happening.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Couple wrecks each others’ careers due to relationship indecision.

QUIRKS: A screwball comedy. Remake of The Dinner Game (1998), a French movie (rated 7.7/10 on IMDB). All kinds of crazy, painful, ridiculous situations arise.

VISUALS: The mouse art is interesting.

SOUNDTRACK: Alright.

MORALS: People involved in capitalistic profit don’t tend to have as many.

GOOD STUFF: Ridiculous situations. Cringe comedy that makes Season 1 of the American office look easy to watch in comparison. A crazy stalker chick. Douchey co-workers. Idiots from many walks of life coming together.

BAD STUFF: The middle is such a disaster [in terms of how much Paul Rudd’s life is getting messed up by Steve Carell] that it actually HURTS to watch. You may be tempted to think that means it’s not funny, but it’s simply dry cringe comedy humor. Most humor is dry anyway, so try to revel in the pain here.

CONCLUSION: Started out funny, but a bit stuffier than you’d expect. That then that went out the door, and it got so awkward that it was painful. *Dreadfully* painful, dry, cringe comedy. But then everything went to a shitstorm and it became hilarious and ridiculous, turning into a genuine screwball laugh out loud comedy. And then it had a really great feelgood ending. Definitely a crazy and hilarious movie, with several noticeable pacing changes that keep you on your toes. Good stuff.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.8/10.
TwoBeans: Aborted.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.2/10, Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.3/5 stars–Netflix was right that we’d like this more than average, though both 3.6 and 4.3 round to 4).

RECOMMENDATION: Definitely worth seeing! It’s like a sampler platter of different kinds of comedy.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The movie it’s based on :)

MOVIE QUOTES:

“It’s my wife’s favorite finger!”

“I want you to say, ‘You can eat my pudding.'”

Kieran: “Have you ever lived among a herd of goats, for months at a time, as one of them?”
Barry: “No.”
Kieran: “That surprises me.”Mood: Merry Christmas :)
Music: Antonio Vivaldi – Summer