Typecasting can be a dangerous thing for an actor. Roles start to blend together, and soon studios will only hire them (and audiences will only accept them) for that single character type. This trend is usually most visible in the careers of character actors, but sometimes it happens with the leads too.
Paul Rudd and Steve Carell are very funny guys, but both have quickly fallen into a rut with the characters they play. New Paul Rudd movie coming out? Odds are he plays the straight man who forced to deal with another wilder, looser character. New Carell? What are the chances he’ll be playing some type of idiot who would barely survive in the real world?
The point is Rudd and Carell have a new movie coming out this summer called Dinner For Schmucks. It’s actually a remake of a French comedy and is about a dinner party where the guests are required to find and bring a complete boob as unwitting entertainment. At this point you can probably guess who plays what role, and toss in Zack Galifianakis as a hyper-realized wacko and you have a trio of hilarious actors playing roles we’ve seen so many times before. Rudd plays an executive on the rise who accepts the dinner invitation and challenge in the hopes it will help his career. Carell plays a guy who makes miniature recreations of The Last Supper with dead rodents.
But is any of that a bad thing? If they’re still funny and the movie still makes us laugh does it matter that these talents aren’t stretching creatively? Can I possibly drag this trailer intro out any longer? Check out the trailer for Dinner For Schmucks.
So what do you think? The original French movie seemed to focus a bit more on the dinner party itself, but judging by this trailer the remake may have turned it into more of a slapstick comedy about the ethics of friendship. Raise your hand if you expect Rudd to stand up during dinner and make an impassioned speech about how it’s wrong to make fun of people and that he’s proud to call Carell his friend? That’s not to say it won’t be funny of course, and I for one think all three actors excel at their particular comedic niche… but I do look forward to the day Rudd kicks back and lets loose with a character closer to the iconic Andy from Wet Hot American Summer. He was still hilarious, but he was also unlike anything we’ve seen from Rudd in a long time.
Dinner For Schmucks hits theaters on July 23rd. The trailer can be viewed in HD over at Apple.com.