Home > Movie, Review > Movie Review: The Dinner Game (1998) France Le diner de cons

Movie Review: The Dinner Game (1998) France Le diner de cons

Cartoon drawing of a dinner table with a photo of a man sitting in the chair.Summary:
Pierre and his friends have a recurring dinner party where they each bring an idiot.  The person who brings the best idiot wins.  Pierre is excited that he may have finally found a winner in Pierre–a government worker who makes models out of matchsticks and talks about them incessantly.  However, he throws his back out the night of the party, and his wife walks out on him, leaving him at the hands of the bumbling Francois.

Review:
This is the French movie that is being remade/Americanized into Dinner for Schmucks, which is being released this summer.  This is what led me to watch it, and I must say I don’t know why I always forget how much I enjoyed the foreign films I watched in university.  They’re such a fun way to immerse yourself in another culture.

The Dinner Game plays with that classic light-handed touch often found in French films.  The wit is sly, not heavy-handed.  The jokes build slowly, rather like American black-and-white classic films.

I found it delightful that the writers made the choice to make Pierre basically an unredeemable douchebag who you still end up sympathizing with.  It takes talent to pull that off, and it is done quite smoothly.

The movie is quite short, though, ringing in at only 81 minutes.  I wanted it to last longer!  Additionally, the ending was rather sudden.  People who don’t like to left guessing won’t enjoy that part of it.  I also felt the set-up took a bit long, particularly given the length of the film.

If you enjoy light-handed wit and a good character study, you will enjoy this film.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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