Related Schemes and Literature

The last movie. . .

One of the last movies that I have seen, but not one of the latest, is the Dinner Game. Now, this is not the remake that was recently released in the US, but an earlier French version. I have watched it several times over the years, and it remains hilariously funny. Most of the comedies of this type here are much too adolescent and their actors leave behind that ‘look-I’m-being-funny-but-my-character-doesn’t-know-it’ residue that just never seems to clean up easily.

Not so, the French version. But first, a brief intro for those who may be unacquainted with the plot. This group of well-to-do friends, have a weekly dinner. They each invite a guest. The winner of the evening is the one who brought the most idiotic, stupid guest with the strangest interest. Of course, the ‘idiot’ does not know this, and thinks that they are truly impressed, may offer a book deal, &c. Well, this time it doesn’t quite work out as planned. The gentleman in question has certainly found the ‘perfect idiot.’ Too perfect. I shan’t give away any more, except to say that it involves not only the man and his idiot guest, but also the man’s wife, her former lover, the man’s current mistress and the idiot’s best friend, who happens to be a tax inspector for the French government.

Each of the characters is believable and well acted, but none more so than the idiot. His is superbly acted and seems as if he really is that inept. I am really picky about how characters are acted, and don’t like it when my suspension of disbelief gets interrupted. That doesn’t happen here at all.

Check it out, and if you do decide to watch it, keep the original French audio and use subtitles if needed. There is no way a dubbed version could hope to match the delicate, rapid and intertwined conversations.


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