What has been no joke, however, is the road that Jay Roach’s upcoming Dinner With Schmucks has taken in order to finally start production plans for the fall. Variety lays out the details, among word that the remake of Francis Veber’s 1998 film, Le Diner De Cons (Dinner of the Idiots) will star Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. The original film centered on a weekly “dinner of idiots” where prominent Parisian businessmen would bring a guest idiot of whom the others can make light. At the end of the night, the champion idiot is crowned.
However, protagonist Pierre Brochant has an unbelievable night of missteps and mishaps when his guest idiot, Francois Pignon, arrives right after Brochant’s wife has just left him. Pignon tries to help out his “friend,” but ends up making things worse, so that by the end of the night, Brochant has lost his wife, suffered a back injury, made up with a former friend, been audited by tax evasion by another guest that Pignon invited, and dumped his mistress. Sounds typically French to me.
Back on this side of the pond, this remake seems to have been involved in a plot almost as haphazard. It was hotly fought over during the Paramount / Dramworks break up and at one time had Sacha Baron Cohen attached. Through much Hollywood wrangling, it eventually worked out to where both Paramount and Dreamworks, along with Spyglass Entertainment all ended up with financial stakes in the film and Baron Cohen chose to eat someplace else. The film is slated to begin production in December and will be Roach’s first theatrical film since Meet The Fockers in 2004. No word yet on how the craft service will turn out.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey