Peter Eramo DVD Pick from the 90′s: “The Dinner Game”

Some of you may have already seen the trailer for the new comedy “Dinner with Schmucks” (due out in July) starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. It looks pretty damn funny, right? I am sure it will be. However, this is an American version of a truly wonderful 1998 French film called “Le Diner de Cons” or, “The Dinner Game” written and directed by Francis Veber.

The premise seems to be exactly the same. In the original, the very well-to-do Pierre (Thierry Lhermitte) and his friends have a somewhat mean-spirited competition: each of them tries to find the dumbest idiot he can possibly find and that invited guest has to speak about himself as much a s possible. When all of the duped ones leave, the group of friends makes fun of all of them and elects a winner — who brought the biggest imbecile? For this particular week, Pierre picks Francois Pignon (Jacques Villeret), a simple man who works for the Internal Revenue Service. Villeret is extraordinarily funny — he is perfect here and makes for terrific bait for Pierre, but he also brings a wonderful warmth to the role and viewers cannot help but empathize with him.

Now you may have never heard of this movie and may not know any of the stars, but I would highly recommend that you put this in your rental queue and see it before the release of the new American version. It is a very funny film — and also very sweet. I am sure that Carell and Rudd will make for a winning pair and that the movie will do well at the box-office, but I wanted to alert you to the original which I have been a great fan of since I saw it when it was first released. So if you are looking for something a little different, don’t mind French subtitles and you are simply looking for a smart, sweet and very funny movie for the night, go rent “The Dinner Game.” If you’d like to see the trailer, just click here.

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