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'Dinner for Schmucks' is apparently socially acceptable

Hollywood has remade a sweet-and-sour spree known in English as "The Dinner Game" and in French as "Le diner de cons" ("The Idiot's Dinner") into a hot comedy vehicle with the oh-so-classy title "Dinner for Schmucks." I'm actually looking forward to this film. The premise is solid: snobby executives and professionals play a dinner game in which the fellow who brings the sorriest bore wins. And the cast couldn't be better. Paul Rudd has long deserved the leading-man status he won with "I Love You, Man." I prefer Steve Carell when he's playing character parts like this film's hopeless dweeb instead of star turns like Maxwell Smart or half-sensitive, half-silly Everymen like the husband in "Blind Date." (That's Carell on the left, Rudd on the right, in an advance still from "Dinner for Schmucks.")

But why the desperate, attention-getting new name for this movie? Do commercial filmmakers feel like risk-takers when they stick borderline profanities into their titles? Director Jay Roach has been compiling quite a collection of them. Yesterday, "Meet the Fockers." Tomorrow -- well, July 23, to be exact -- "Dinner for Schmucks." Even staid old "CBS Sunday Morning" didn't balk at the words in its summer preview.  Let's hope that's not the film's only accomplishment.

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