ⓘ The Dinner Game

The Dinner Game

ⓘ The Dinner Game

The Dinner Game is a 1998 French comedy film written and directed by Francis Veber. It is a film adaptation by Veber of his play Le Diner de Cons. It was the top grossing French film at the French box office for 1998 and second place overall behind Titanic.


1. Plot

Pierre Brochant, a Parisian publisher, attends a weekly "idiots dinner", where guests, who are modish, prominent Parisian businessmen, must bring along an "idiot" whom the other guests can ridicule. At the end of the dinner, the evenings "champion idiot" is selected.

With the help of an "idiot scout", Brochant manages to find a "gem", François Pignon, a sprightly employee of the Finance Ministry. Pignon has a passion for building matchstick replicas of famous landmarks. Shortly after inviting Pignon to his home, Brochant is suddenly stricken with back pain while playing golf at his exclusive country club. His wife, Christine, leaves him shortly before Pignon arrives at his apartment, as she realizes that he still wants to go to the "idiots dinner." Brochant initially wants Pignon to leave, but instead becomes reliant on him, because of his back problem and his need to resolve his relationship problems.

He solicits Pignons assistance in making a series of telephone calls to locate his wife, but Pignon gaffes each time, including revealing the existence of Brochants mistress, Marlene Sasseur thinking that she is Brochants sister, since her name sounds like "sa soeur", to his wife Christine and inviting tax inspector Lucien Cheval to Brochants house where Brochant is forced quickly to hide most of his valuables in an attempt to disguise his tax evasion.

In the meantime, Brochant is able to make amends with an old friend, Just Leblanc, from whom he stole Christine, and through the evenings events is forced to reassess his mistakes.


2. Cast

  • Daniel Prevost as Lucien Cheval
  • Alexandra Vandernoot as Christine Brochant
  • Catherine Frot as Marlene Sasseur
  • Jacques Villeret as François Pignon
  • Thierry Lhermitte as Pierre Brochant
  • Bernard Alane as Pascal Meneauxs voice
  • Daniel Russo as Pascal Meneaux
  • Francis Huster as Juste Leblanc
  • Edgar Givry as Jean Cordier
  • Christian Pereirra as Dr. Sorbier
  • Petronille Moss as Mademoiselle Blond

3. Accolades

At the 1999 Cesar Awards, the film was honored with six nominations of which it won three. The categories it won were Best Actor for Jacques Villeret, Best Supporting Actor for Daniel Prevost and Best Screenplay for Francis Veber. It was nominated but did not win for Best Film, Veber as Best Director and Catherine Frot as Best Supporting Actress.


4. Other adaptations

  • An English adaptation in 2003, a play by Ronald Harwood called See You Next Tuesday and starring Ardal OHanlon in its original run.
  • A Chinese remake of the film comes in the form of a stage show at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre starring Canadian freelance performer Dashan as Pierre Brochant.
  • An American remake starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd called Dinner for Schmucks was released on 30 July 2010.
  • A Malayalam adaptation titled April Fool was released in 2010.
  • The Hindi cinema remake, Bheja Fry, was released on 13 April 2007.
  • A Kannada film titled Mr. Garagasa starring Komal and Anant Nag released in summer of 2008.
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