The delivery of a joke is just as important as the joke if not more so. We categorize comedy as dryÂ, blueÂ, darkÂ etc. because the effectiveness of the joke differs depending on the delivery. It's a simple concept and shouldn't need stating, but someone should have told director Jay Roach when he signed on to do Dinner for Schmucks. The film is ostensibly a dark comedy about a man so desperate for a promotion that he's willing to amuse his evil corporate superiors by humiliating a gullible stranger. Roach is an unremarkable director who has managed to be at the helm of major hits like the Austin Powers franchise and the first two Meet the Parents movies. In his hands, a dark, offbeat comedy becomes a scattershot approach that sometimes gets a big laugh and other times leaves the audience wondering how someone could make a film so tone deaf that it makes a kooky character come off like a serial killer.
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