Dinner Game

Director/Writer:Francis Veber
Lions Gate Films; 82 minutes; NR
Cast:Jacques Villeret, Thierry Lhermitte

Lifestyle of the Rich and Heartless: French publisher Pierre Brochant (Thierry Lhermitte) hosts a regular dinner soiree with his bourgeois friends, where each invites a random middle-class man with obsessively mundane breeding to be subjected to subtle mockery. This comedy of errors observes what happens to Pierre when he runs across Francois Pignon (Jacques Villeret), an oafish accountant. Back pain forces Pierre to cancel his attendance, but Pignon heads to his house anyway, determined to maintain their “friendship.” The fun begins when Pignon mistakes Pierre's wife for his mistress, and it escalates as Pignon's capacity for clumsiness corrodes the coddled existence of Pierre.

Pierre's flailing attempts at self-defense against Pignon's smothering friendliness is the Dinner Party's single gag. The jokes are sitcommy and stale, but the acting is solid — especially given the movie's limited range.

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