Quirky, weird, unexpected and always unoriginal
By Brett Buckalew, Special to Metromix
Laughter is a universal language, but what’s hilarious in one culture isn’t always so funny in another. For example, the premise of writer-director Francis Veber’s French farce “The Dinner Game”—a group of friends compete over who can bring the biggest idiot as a guest to a weekly dinner. In a nation known for worshipping Jerry Lewis, treating outsiders with haughty contempt, and keeping fine food and wine flowing at social events, it’s easy to see how this storyline would be viewed as comic gold.
But past American remakes of Veber’s comedies wound up lost in translation, resulting in forgettable star vehicles from the likes of Tom Hanks (“The Man With One Red Shoe”), Martin Short (“Pure Luck”) and Robin Williams and Billy Crystal (“Fathers’ Day”). Now funnymen and onetime “40-Year-Old Virgin” co-stars Steve Carell and Paul Rudd are hoping that “Dinner for Schmucks”—their Americanized take on “Dinner Game”—will prove more appetizing to audiences.
Here’s a look at 10 other re-dos that, in a positive or negative way, come off as quirky, unexpected, or just plain weird.
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