Greg Proops (one of the most mind-warpingly quick-draw improv comics on earth) records the latest episode of his monthly Film Club podcast live — and then it’s time for The Dinner Game (Le dîner de cons)
The French do so many things well. Pastry, wine, (ah, wine), curating, (See: The Louvre). But one thing they do better than anyone is make fun of their own pretensions. The Dinner Game is a comedy of manners, where the wealthy and sophisticated seek to have their fun by making fools of the hard working boring people but les tables se mettent à l’écoute. The term “con” cannot successfully be translated into English – too much je ne sais quoi. Loosely rendered it falls somewhere between idiot and asshole. The gig is this; a group of rich nabobs throw a dinner party every Wednesday, a dinner of fools where each must bring a “con,” a fool whose plebian tastes and hobbies and opinions they praise and flatter and when they leave they discuss who brought the biggest con with the cynical devotion and meticulousness of the nobel committee. One Wednesday a friend calls Pierre (Thierry Lhermitte) to say he has found the biggest nitwit of all time… and the mayhem begins — morals are exposed and integrity comes to the fore. In this age of the Kremlin Kontrolled Karrot and his utter contempt for fair play, truth, and reality we felt we should show a little classic comedy that exposes cynical venality for what it is: a perk of toxic privilege. Buñeul meets Laurel and Hardy. Dead funny and a brisk 80 minutes. Sois amis pour une bonne nuit d’amusement.
Dir. Francis Veber, 1998, digital presentation, 80 min.