Dinner for Schmucks (& other enlightening messages)

Last night was movie date night at my house and we decided to go see “Dinner with Schmucks”.  This turned out to be pretty cool.

First we have corporate slog Tim who is trying to get ahead with the not so subtle urging of his secretary who apparently has more than a bizarre fixation on cole slaw.  Tim is a go-getter and comes up with a great idea to save his company’s business.  Of course, he is still stepped on and looked over even with this fantastic idea in place and everything but signed off on.

Tim has a fantastic girlfriend who is some sort of art curator for weirdos (and not the good kind necessarily, but the truly weird kind).  She’s trying to get ahead, too.  Which is apparently sort of the catalyst for some of the movie’s plot.  That and the fact that he keeps asking her to marry him and she keeps saying no.

Tim is told that he can be one of the big boys by inviting an idiot to dinner and letting all of the other corporate schmoes make fun of them.  Apparently  everyone invites an idiot to dinner and they pick the best idiot, give them an award, and then send them back into the world supposedly “none the wiser”.  So, at first, it looks as if  Tim’s idiot is going to be his girlfriend’s weird artist.  As luck would have it, he practically runs over his “idiot”.  Enter Steve Carell who makes fantastically detailed diorama scenes with dead mice (before you get too grossed out, he’s a taxidermist).  They really are pretty wonderful.

So, the long and the short of it is that girlfriend finds out and thinks it’s awful and leaves, Steve Carell’s character gets the date wrong, disaster ensues and really the middle chunk of the movie is like a bizarre atomic fireball skipping across an expanse of dry plains that is seemingly endless.  You will laugh.  I promise.

I don’t want to spoil it all for you because really it’s a pretty funny movie.  You will laugh at the final dinner scene and you will definitely feel as if there was a message to be had here. 

The message that I want you to take away is the same as my message always is.  Just because it’s weird or different, it’s not wrong.  It’s just weird and different. To you.

Tim gains an amazing insight at the final dinner when he realises that some of these people truly are just bizarre, but some of them are actually extraordinarily talented, even though they are bizarre talents.  I read once in an interview with a guy who does some of the Ripley’s books that these strange talents are often times the result of someone spending way too much time alone in their rooms.  Funny, but probably true.

So, Tim gets this insight bonking him on the head and he manages to turn not only himself around, but Steve Carell’s character as well.  This is the good part. 

I think about how often people are afraid of being different because it MIGHT sound weird to someone else and so they don’t.  They pray for a life as a cookie cutter person and make it fulfill them.  These are the people who always seem to have a big hole in them because they are intrinsically unfulfilled and haven’t figured out their true purpose.  They are just going along doing what they think that everyone else thinks they should do.

The only problem with that is the big hole of unfulfillment that sits in your stomach like a rock.  This leads to filling it with other things and none of them are probably good.  This, of course, leads me to the point.  (I know, I never know what the point of a blog is until I get to it and it’s always a long and scenic drive.  I’m sorry.  Welcome to the land of Asperger’s.)  The point being that we should all strive to do something in our lives that we find fulfilling and that makes us feel whole and complete as people.  A world full of people who are all the same is just that…always the same and very boring.  It’s the truly different people who have their own music and their very own drummer who make the difference in the world.  Think of your “crazy” friend.  The one who is always getting you into trouble, but that you love with all your heart, just the same.  Well, that’s the guy we should strive to be.

So, I know, it started out as a movie review, but I think that maybe I had it in the back of my brain all along that the true message of this movie was bigger.  Our wacky friends are the ones that we would never trade.  I seem to be the wacky friend in most of my friends’ universes. Would you believe that even wacky friends have wacky friends?  I do.  Her name is Dianne.  (And Didi, you knew that it was only a matter of time before you got mentioned in this blog, if the Best Buy guy can’t escape, neither can you!)  She is the one who let me know at the most critical juncture in my life that it was okay to be different.  It was actually okay to listen to the drummer and do a little dance to his tune.  Apparently, I did the same thing for her.  How bizarre is my world?

Which sort of leads me to another point. All you need is one good friend. One good friend who is always there, good/bad, rich/poor, happy/sad, living/dead.  If you have one good friend that gives you the support that you so desperately need when you need it and the pats on the back when you feel that you desperately deserve them, then you, my friend are doing wonderfully.  It’s even better when your good friend gets your brain so well, that they can guide you through your darkness-of-the-day and get you back on track.  The bonus plan is that you never are both down at the same time.  It means everything if you are in such sync that you are able to always balance each other out.

Thanks, Dianne. I knew that there was a reason that I loved you more than my husband.  Laugh out loud!