I sure went into Dinner for Schmucks with reservations (pardon the pun), but the film is a surprisingly funny, over-the-top, darkly humored Bromance, that actually works!
Let's get this out of the way right off the top, this film is carried, dominated, and utterly stolen by the infectiously, dopey performance of Steve Carell as Barry, a taxidermist/IRS agent, and the hapless fool at the center of all the action in the movie.
Tim (Paul Rudd) is trying to get ahead in his company. He makes headway with Lance (Bruce Greenwood) the big boss, with an idea to get control of the finances of Mueller (David Walliams), a Swiss heir with a lot of money, but not a lot of brain matter.
Tim's final test, to see if he's executive material, is to participate in a special dinner at Lance's estate where all execs try to bring in the biggest fool to the table to be subtly laughed at by the cool, corporate types in the room.
Tim runs into (literally with his car) Barry, and can't help but want to use this man that just doesn't get it, but truly thinks he does, as his entry into the dinner evening, even after Julie (Stephanie Szostak), Tim's lady love, is appalled by the whole the idea of it.
Tim tries to juggle his plan to use Barry for the dinner, against his worry about losing Julie to Kieran (Jemaine Clement), an avant garde self-portrait artist that lives with goats and wears ram's horns for fun.
Other subplots include Barry's wife having left him for his deliciously idiotic supervisor at the IRS, Therman (Zach Galifianakis), and Darla (Lucy Punch) a very unwanted ex-girlfriend of Tim's that just won't take "no" or "go away" for an answer.
The film is funny and quirky throughout, and actually makes you feel for Carell's Barry, a well intentioned moron, with a heart of gold, as he cluelessly tries to make sense of it all, and the film works because of the chemistry between Barry and Rudd's Tim, a borderline creep with some redeemable qualities.
Culminating in the hysterically funny dinner, where animal channelers meet blind, foil wielding fencers, vulture fanciers, and psychotic ventriloquists, and where the tables might just be turned on the ultra hip host of the festivities and his mean spirited cronies.
Dinner for Schmucks may not win any prizes for message, or depth, but it does deliver exactly what the trailers promise: broad, rib tickling, buffoonery to mindlessly entertain and delight an audience of people out for a good time!