The Dinner Game (Le Dīner de cons) (1999)
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Critic Reviews for The Dinner Game (Le Dīner de cons)
Despite the stagey set-up (it was originally conceived as a play and it shows), the film manages to maintain its humor and energy until the final scene in which Veber suddenly casts aside his delightful meanspiritedness and gets soft-hearted and preachy.
Some realist nuances in the characters' behavior become more intriguing than the belabored humor.
A sip of sparkling champagne in a moviegoing summer of mostly cheap red wine for teenage winos.
The leads fill out their archetypes comfortably, the timing's well pitched, and the narrative moves busily enough. Cinematically, though, there's little of interest.
Audience Reviews for The Dinner Game (Le Dīner de cons)
Much better fil than the awful Hollywood remake. Thoroughly enjoyable French comedy.
A smart idea for a film is plagued by a poorly written script that is dull, uninteresting. Le Diner de cons could have been a great film, and it might have looked good on paper, but the on-screen result is that of a film that is unfocused, with poor attempt at humor, and yes, I do get French humor, but this film just failed to make me laugh. I expected something really funny with the film, and considering the idea for the film, you'd think it would be one hilarious film. Unfortunately it wasn't. This film as a whole was just long and boring with nothing interesting going on-screen. I think it's a great shame because this film could have been great. Unfortunately it suffers from an underdeveloped script that fails to be very funny. The cast try to save this film from failing, but it does anyway. Director Francis Veber would later redeem himself with The Closet, a much funnier film with a far better cast. This film just doesn't have the comedic elements that make up a good comedy. Most of the comedy falls flat. The films script could have been rewritten to develop better jokes. If you want a good French comedy watch some Louis de funes films and OSS117 instead. Avoid this one; this film simply isn't worth watching. Overall it's a shame that the filmmakers couldn't have made a better film out of this, and the result is a train wreck that just fails on so many levels. Spend your time watching something else, you'll be glad you did.
Wonderfully simple, but emotionally engaging comedy. The film takes its audience on a wonderful journey as we start feeling very sorry for Villeret. The film is very cruel towards him at first. He's just a sweet, naive man looking for some acceptance. He soon turns into the guest from hell, as his lack of intelligence does turn into annoyance. Finally, his acts bring justice upon those that would make fun of him. It's a feel good comedy, that gradually builds an unexpected friendship. It's also nice to see the characters in on the joke as well. Too often comedies have their own characters ignore the hilarity around them. The dialogue is quick and witty and the film does what it can in its space and time. About to be remade with Paull Rudd and Steve Carrell, the trailer for that promises to expand on the events, but will the heart and humor remain intact? This is a mini French gem.
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